Kiwi-born Australian UFC great Mark Hunt has confirmed a looming boxing superfight against NRL legend Paul Gallen is in the works, and he’s “itching” to make it happen.
The Australian combat sports community was sent into meltdown on Monday morning when rumours of a potential fight between the MMA cult-figure and the Cronulla icon surfaced.
The magnetism of the heavy-hitting matchup was enough to kick the rumour mill into overdrive, and by lunchtime the dream come one step closer to reality with Hunt himself confirming he was approached by Gallen’s camp.
“I know Paul and when they first asked me if I wanted a scrap, I was like ‘are you sure? Is your management right?'” Hunt told Sporting News.
“It’s fine. If Paul wants this fight, by all means, I can oblige. If Paul wants to dance, let’s dance. I love dancing.
“But I know Paul, and since we’ve broken bread, I didn’t get it. But it is what it is.
“If he wants to dance, we can dance. It doesn’t matter to me, but it surprised me.”
Hunt’s cult following in the UFC has seen him revered as one of MMA’s heaviest hitters, boasting a stunning 10 KO victories in his 13-win professional career. While Gallen’s popularity as one of rugby league’s grittiest players coupled with his blossoming career in the ring would only draw in another market of fans.
Hunt last suffered a unanimous points loss to American Justin Wills in Adelaide in the final fight of his UFC contract in December 2018.
Despite a disappointing end to his time in the Octagon, Hunt revealed he was “itching” to get back to it and even floated the idea of using the fight to fundraise the Australian bushfire relief.
“To be honest, I’m getting the itch back,” Hunt said.
“I’ve been talking to a few other promotions, but haven’t locked anything down yet, so why not have a boxing fight?
Paul Gallen vs Barry Hall training tape
“I’m looking forward to doing some training and fighting again, so if the price is right for me and it’s for a good cause, then why not?
“If it was to happen, we’ll donate a portion to the bushfire and do our bit to help.”
Hunt said he respected Gallen’s esteemed career on the footy field and was impressed with his skill in the ring, but was confident he’d be able to walk over him.
“He’s a great boxer and he’s a great footy player,” Hunt said.
“But you can’t play fighting. Like I said, it surprised me, but it is what it is.”