Gallen’s explosive ‘set up’ fight claim

Paul Gallen has declared that his fight against "irrelevant" Barry Hall is an ambush that's "set up" for the AFL great to win, with a raft of factors stacked in his favour.

Gallen (9-0, 5 KOs) branded "embarrassing" the decision to fight two-minute rounds for Hall's pro debut in the November 15 bout.

The drop from regular three-minute rounds was made for Hall, who will also fight on home soil at Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena. The AFL great has done very little promotion compared to Gallen and he's being trained by Angelo Hyder, the long-time trainer of promoter Danny Green, a former world champion.

Hall might be on pro debut, but he was a state champion amateur in his teens and looks in terrific shape, despite being 42. NRL legend Gallen, 38, said that everything in the fight lead-up had been tailored to Hall's needs.

"My opinion is this fight's been set up for Barry," Gallen told Wide World of Sports on Thursday.

"He's got everything he's wanted: he's got the rounds he's wanted. He's only been saying things that he wants to say, he's done next to no promotion for it compared to what I've done. I've been on the radio and doing interviews every day. He's only put out a couple of Instagram videos of him punching a bag.

"He's in the promoter's corner, his name's written first (on the fight poster). He hasn't played (for eight years) and hasn't been relevant for five or six years. All of this has been set up for Barry to win and I'm going down there to ruin their party."

Gallen reckons that Hall's insistence on two-minute rounds for the six-round fight is set to backfire in a big way. Hall retired from the AFL in 2011, while Gallen has come out of an NRL season and straight into a fight camp, meaning he's still in great condition.

Gallen intends to fight a high-tempo style that will maintain his fitness advantage.

"I think it's going to work against him," Gallen said.

"I'd only been sparring three-minute rounds and I dropped it back to two yesterday, just to get used to the pace of it, what I'm going to have to go at. Mate, the pace I'm going to go at, he's just not going to be able to handle it.

"One-minute rounds, two-minute rounds, three-minute rounds, whatever he wants; but at least with three-minute rounds, you feel each other out and take your time. He's not going to handle the pace, I'm going to be in his face constantly and his only chance is knocking me out in the first couple of rounds.

"That's it. He's going to have to fluke a punch, catch me on the chin and knock me out, because I'm going to be in his face non-stop."

Gallen, the former Cronulla, NSW and Australian Test forward, said that he was impressed with Hall's shape. He accused the ex-St Kilda, Sydney and Western Bulldogs hardman of downplaying his fight preparation.

Hall has been in camp with the co-main event fighter, Andrew Moloney (20-0, 13 KOs), another Hyder product who will fight Elton Dharry for the interim WBC world super flyweight title. He boasts a 14cm height advantage over Gallen and a greater reach.

"Look at him: he's 42-years-old and looks like a friggin' 25-year-old. I don't know what he's doing, but he's looking like a machine," Gallen said.

"He can say he's been training for this five or six weeks, I reckon that's crap. He's been up there training with Angelo Hyder and the promoter's in his corner.

"They wouldn't have taken this fight if they didn't think he could win. I'm going down there to ruin all their nights.

"He's been training with the promoter's long-term trainer, he's in the corner that the Maloney brothers are in; what this fight night's all about. He's training with them. I'm just going to get the job done.

"It's easy to say I'm going to knock him out, but I don't really care how I get it done. I'm just going to win."

Gallen recently took a trip to the UK, where he sparred former heavyweight world title contender Hughie Fury and Dillian Whyte sparring partner Sonny Taylor, a hard-hitting cruiserweight prospect. Back home, he has sparred with UFC light-heavyweight Tyson Pedro.

Gallen hasn't let his hair down since his NRL retirement, instead pouring his energy into his high-profile clash with Hall.

"It was supposed to be a retirement party (the UK trip) and it turned into a training camp," Gallen said.

"My testimonial luncheon I didn't have a drink at. The book launch I've been busy with but haven't been able to celebrate. I've been totally committed to getting all the training done and getting the win in this fight."

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