Paul Gallen takes on Barry Hall in boxing’s Code War.
Paul Gallen takes on Barry Hall in boxing’s Code War.

Buzz v Robbo: NRL, AFL heavyweights trade blows

Two of the biggest and baddest names from the NRL and AFL enter the ring on Friday night when Paul Gallen and Barry Hall go toe-to-toe at Margaret Court Arena.

It's a battle of the codes unlike any other we have seen before and so, in the spirit of the occasion, we have pitted our own two big guns together.

In the NRL corner is the Daily Telegraph's sports editor-at-large Phil "Buzz' Rothfield and in the AFL corner, the Herald Sun's chief Mark "Robbo" Robinson to deliver their verdict on the fight.

Ok fellas, we want a fair fight and no low blows.

Don't miss the hotly anticipated clash between the NRL's Paul Gallen and AFL's Barry Hall. Watch it live on Main Event. Order the fight now!

 

Paul Gallen takes on Barry Hall in boxing’s Code War. Picture: Scott Barbour
Paul Gallen takes on Barry Hall in boxing’s Code War. Picture: Scott Barbour

 

Robbo: Someone told me you were too scared to ask Barry (Hall) a question, is that true?

Buzz: I asked Barry one question and then I backed off because he was pretty angry. He doesn't like us mentioning his old track record.

Robbo: Which is the (Brent) Staker punch?

Buzz: Not only the Staker punch, I jumped onto Wikipedia when I flew down this morning and I punched into Google 'Barry Hall controversy' and beep, beep, beep. Staker was the highlight, triple breaker jaw, and that was mentioned in the press conference.

Robbo: And how did he handle that?

Buzz: He didn't cop it. He didn't cop it at all. But that was a long time ago.

Robbo: He's got to cop it, it was a long time ago, and now he's boxing. It makes me think that Barry can beat Paul Gallen, I'm not putting Paul Gallen down, he's a titan, he's rough tough and inspirational. You know your fights, Barry's got a punch in him that if he gets it and lands it, Gallen's in trouble.

 

Phil Rothfield backing Paul Gallen to win. Picture: Brett Costello
Phil Rothfield backing Paul Gallen to win. Picture: Brett Costello

 

Buzz: Boxing is not just the strength of a man and the power of a punch, it is a science it's a great sport. The bottom line is he hasn't fought since he was 15 as an amateur. And in fairness, Johnny Lewis did say he is the best footballer he's seen in a ring, and no one knows boxing like Johnny Lewis, but the fact is he's 42-years of age.

Robbo: How old's Gallen?

Buzz: Gallen's 38, but he's had nine professional fights, he's just retired, he's race fit, he could do a Melbourne Cup he's that fit, I think he'll be too powerful.

Robbo : More powerful? Barry's got the reach.

Buzz: Barry's got the reach

Robbo: He's got the height, he's got the reach, and no doubt he's got the strength.

Buzz: You know he's six foot four

Robbo: He looks bigger than that though, Baz, did you stand next to him today? You'd look like a leprechaun.

Buzz: It was like standing next to Andrew Bogut. You would too, you're not exactly the tallest man.

 

Mark Robinson says Barry Hall will be too strong for Gallen. Picture: David Caird
Mark Robinson says Barry Hall will be too strong for Gallen. Picture: David Caird

 

Robbo: Someone said to me, who's that leprechaun standing next to Barry Hall? I said that's Buzz Rothfield.

Buzz: Why do you like attacking me?

Robbo: I don't like attacking you, I think rugby league people don't rate AFL as a sport when it's clearly the number one sport in Australia.

Buzz: It is not the number one sport in Australia Robbo and we must mention television ratings. The three highest shows on TV, State of Origin, NSW v QLD, and they have been for the last ten years.

Robbo: Outside of State of Origin, in the regular week in week out sport, which one's tougher?

Buzz: I've said to you before the cameras started, there's no question that rugby league is the toughest sport in Australia, I think on the planet, because it's as tough as NFL, the diff is they wear helmets and shoulder pads.

Robbo: No.

Buzz: It is Robbo, it's tougher than NFL.

 

Gallen has plenty of fight experience. Picture: Brett Costello
Gallen has plenty of fight experience. Picture: Brett Costello

 

Robbo: Look I can sort of understand your point. At least in rugby league you know where they're coming from.

Buzz: Not always.

Robbo: Well there's no one coming from the side.

Buzz: They do.

Robbo: You've got vision you can see them coming, in AFL you're required 360 and you can't have 360, and you can get hit, not as high, we've successfully rubbed out a lot of the high tackles in AFL.

Buzz: Look I think when we talk about toughness there's a lot of different variables with toughness, as far as endurance goes and if you put a tracker on a player, there's no question that an AFL player has more mental toughness to travel the distance. I came down here when Karmichael Hunt played his first game of AFL, he went off with cramps in the second quarter.

Robbo: Will that help Barry? Or because it's six two-minute rounds, it won't come into it?

Buzz: I don't think six two-minute rounds will help Barry, because all it will mean is that Gallen won't get tired like he would in the final minute of a three-minute round. I think he'll be 90-100 per cent for the full two minutes.

 

Hall will start the fight as the bookie’s underdog. Picture: Adam Head
Hall will start the fight as the bookie’s underdog. Picture: Adam Head

 

Robbo: If Barry keeps punching him in the head Gallen will get tired.

Buzz: Yes, but the thing is Gallen has had nine professional fights. He doesn't have ring rust like Barry will have. He knows how to defend himself. He's not a rugby league player just having a show fight.

Robbo: But Barry's an unknown on that front.

Buzz: He is, that's the beauty of that fight we don't know.

Robbo: Don't get angry with me buddy.

Buzz: No, but we don't know.

Robbo: Why are you getting angry? Just because I'm winning the argument?

Buzz: I'm trying to make a forceful point.

Robbo: So he's got height, reach and I know Gallen has as well, Hall's got a real killer snap in him. Staker we saw it. He's shown it before on the field before going after players. Does that help or hinder him in a boxing match? He hasn't been punched in the face, I don't think he's been punched in the face, he was asked that this morning, and he called the reporter a f***wit, we'll beep that out of course, he called the journo a f***wit.

Buzz: Yes he did, I think he might have had some form, the journo, with him. They might have had some disputes in the past, lets just say. But you talk about Barry being the hit man and his colourful past. Paul Gallen's not a clean skin, his judiciary record is almost as impressive.

 

 

Robbo: Who would win a fight between Gallen and Gorden Tallis?

Buzz: It'd be a very good fight.

Robbo: Why can't we organise that for a fight?

Buzz: Why not?

Robbo: I've met Gorden a couple of times.

Buzz: He's scary, Gordy.

Robbo: He's like Barry.

Buzz: He's one bloke I will never, ever upset. I don't care what he does, he will never be in my column for doing anything negative.

Robbo: I had a drink with him one night, don't do that. He drinks a bit quick.

Buzz: He'd kill you.

Robbo: Gorden reminds me of Barry. Tough, bit crazy.

Buzz: Yeah, mad.

 

The fight will be one of Australia’s most anticipated since Anthony Mundine and Danny Green. David Mariuz
The fight will be one of Australia’s most anticipated since Anthony Mundine and Danny Green. David Mariuz

 

Robbo: I can't believe how much people in Melbourne are talking about this fight. Is it the same talking in Sydney?

Buzz: It is, and it's been building for the last week. It won't be Green-Mundine type pay-per-view, but it'll be right up there, they're confident of getting some really big numbers. The one thing that concerns me about this fight is, is Barry Hall doing it for the right reasons? What concerns me is, and it's been well-publicised, he's had some financial issues.

Robbo: I probably shouldn't laugh, but did you mention this at the press conference?

Buzz: No I didn't because it probably wasn't safe.

Robbo: I'm going to ring him, I have his number.

Buzz: You ring him. But the mail is mate that they're getting $600K, $600,000 for 12 minutes

Robbo: Would you get in the ring with Barry Hall for $600K?

 

 

Buzz: No I would not, because I wouldn't get back out of it, I'd be on a stretcher.

Robbo: Gallen?

Buzz: No I would not. I think Gallen's far too good, I just hope he doesn't get hurt, that's the way I'm looking at it.

Robbo: I don't think Barry will get hurt.

Buzz: You don't?

Robbo: No, I don't think any of them will get hurt, they will slug it out, this will be a slug fest.

Buzz: It's just been a long time mate, a long time.

Robbo: Great to talk to you Buzz.

Buzz: Really good mate. Thanks for having me.

Robbo: Go for a walk along the Yarra river at night.

Buzz: Okay shall do.

News Corp Australia


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