Both Paul Gallen and John Hopoate have had their detractors on and off the football field and they will square off inside the boxing ring on Friday night at The Hordern Pavillion in Sydney.
Like a lot of these ex-rugby league player boxing bouts, they require a fair amount of publicity to garner interest from the public and there has been plenty heading into this one.
Gallen has claimed that he will never fight again if he were to lose this fight and Hopoate has not been shy in declaring that he is the better boxer and Gallen is out of his depth.
Late last year we witnessed two of Australia’s greatest ever boxers battle it out at Suncorp in Jeff Horn and Anthony Mundine.
Although that fight lasted less than two minutes, I would not be anticipating a high level of skill or boxing prowess in this one but it is one that can not be missed.
No matter what your opinion of this fight there is still money to be made and we have taken a very close look at both fighters to find the best betting value in this unique clash.
Gallen v Hopoate Betting
Paul Gallen is undefeated inside the ring, is much younger and is only a recently retired professional athlete and therefor has been installed the hot favourite for Friday night.
He is almost unbackable at the $1.18 and punters agree with that sentiment with over ten times the amount of bets and money held on Hopoate.
Hopoate has claimed that he is willing to bet his entire purse, $50,000, on himself. His current odds? $4.50 and punters have followed Hopa in.
Gallen v Hopoate Recent Form
Paul Gallen is undefeated in 8 fights (9 if you include his beat down of Nate Myles) although the quality of opponent has been questionable at best.
His last three wins have come against Herman Ene Purcell (13 wins, 7 losses) Junior Paulo (First and only fight) and Ryan Carr Ketu (2 wins, 1 loss).
This will be Gallen’s toughest test inside the ring to date and that is saying saying when he is fighting a retired NRL player who is 45 years old.
Hopoate has a record of 12 wins, 11 coming way of knock out and he has lost 5 times.
He lost his last two fights inside the boxing ring however his last fight against Shane Cameron was way back in March of 2010.
Hopoate has however tried his hand in Mixed Martial Arts and even fought Aussie UFC sensation Tai Tuivasa (with little success) a few years ago.
Paul Gallen has plenty of things in his favour heading into this fight. Namely his youth and fitness. These two things should prove the difference and Gallen should be winning this contest.
In saying this, Hopoate will present plenty of problems for the Sharks Premiership captain. He weighs in 10kg heavier than Gallen and can use every bit of that to try and knock him out.
Hopoate is the more popular fighter heading into this fight in betting and overall. This is a guy that got rubbed out for 12 weeks for sticking his finger up opponents anuses. That says something about Paul Gallen.
The simple fact is that Gallen is unbackable at his current quote and Hopoate is the smarter play at his price.
This fight is only scheduled for 6 rounds and there is plenty of value for the more experienced boxer to win via a decision.
Best Betting Plays
John Hopoate @ $4.50
John Hopoate By Decision @ $17.00