Paul Gallen has declared that a mega-bout with Sonny Bill Williams “won’t happen” unless it occurs in the next six months.
The 2016 NRL premiership winner has long sought a fight with Williams. The pair six years ago seemed destined to meet in the ring when Gallen agreed to take a reduced payment to get the deal done before it ultimately fell through.
While it appears less likely than ever that the fight will go ahead, Williams, who like Gallen is retired from rugby league duties, is looking to put his focus into boxing going forward.
The 36-year-old, who holds an unbeaten professional record of 8–0, recently generated some hype when he was asked if he would be capable of taking on Gallen, who has a record of 11–1–1 which includes wins against champion fighters Mark Hunt and Lucas Browne.
“I hope you weren’t insinuating that he’s (Gallen’s) out of my league, because for myself I definitely don’t believe that,” Williams said in October.
“He’ll be all part of the process. For me it’s the challenge.
“When it comes to fighting Paul Gallen or Barry Hall, those guys are all part of the process, but for me, it’s about the daily grind and being wholeheartedly in it.
“That stems from something more than say, ‘I’ve got my eyes on solely focused on Paul Gallen or Barry Hall’.”
Those comments were recently brought to Gallen’s attention.
The 40-year-old Gallen, who’s preparing for a bout with Manly’s Josh Aloiai, said the fight would need to happen fairly soon before he looks at calling time on his career.
Paul Gallen and Josh Aloiai argue over fight rounds
“I’m 40 years old, I won’t be fighting in two years’ time,” Gallen told Fox Sports.
“I won’t be fighting for very long at all.
“I think Sonny’s waiting until I get to a point where I’m too old and I’m retired and then he’ll say, ‘let’s do it’ and I’ll say, ‘no, no I’m retired’ and he’ll act like I didn’t want to do it.
“I’ve been saying let’s do it for 10 years, so if it doesn’t happen in the next six months it won’t happen.”
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