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UFC, Pride Vet Mark Hunt Loses Decision to Rugby Star Paul Gallen in Boxing Match



Mark Hunt and Paul Gallen put on a show for Australian boxing fans at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium on Wednesday.

After what the New Zealand Herald described as “one hell of a slugfest,” Gallen emerged with a decision triumph over the UFC and Pride veteran after six hard-fought rounds. Two judges saw the fight 58-56, while a third had it 59-55 — all in favor of Gallen.

The 46-year-old Hunt landed plenty of significant blows in defeat, as he opened a cut under Gallen’s eye with a right hand in Round 1 and wobbled his foe on a couple occasions in the second frame. Ultimately, it was Gallen’s ability to walk through damage and land in volume against an adversary that was more than 50 pounds heavier that proved to be the difference.

“He hit me with something in the second round and I don’t even know what it was. I didn’t even know if I hit the deck or not, but it got me real good,” Gallen told The Sporting News.

According to most accounts, Hunt had a chance to finish Gallen in Round 2 but a premature celebration squandered that opportunity.

“He should’ve jumped all over me, that was his opportunity and you miss all the opportunities you don’t take,” Gallen said. “Thankfully he didn’t come for me and I came good.”

Gallen, the respected former captain of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the National Rugby League, is now 10-0-1, while Hunt falls to 0-2-1 in professional boxing bouts. “The Super Samoan” hasn’t competed in mixed martial arts since 2018 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Justin Willis at UFC Fight Night 142 in December 2018.

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