A retiring Paul Gallen has lamented the long-awaited Sonny Bill Williams fight which never happened, revealing the comment which put the final nail in the potential bout’s coffin.
Gallen’s 21-year professional sporting career came to an end on Wednesday night when he defeated Justin Hodges via a one-sided points decision.
Despite stepping into the ring 17 times as professional boxer, the long-mooted superfight with Williams never came to a fruition.
Speaking on Wednesday night, Gallen was asked whether it was a regret.
“Yeah it is, more financially,” Gallen said.
“I’ve never had an issue with Sonny Bill Williams, I’ve always liked him, I’ve always respected him but he always waits for someone to get too old before he fights them and that’s what he’s waiting for with me and I’m not going to give him that chance.
“He got caught out recently, that’s life. I’m disappointed we didn’t do it, I really am.”
Gallen said the pair should have fought “four or five years ago” and could have had a rematch once their respective football careers ended.
However, the 41-year-old revealed any plans went out the window following a comment from Williams.
“We’ve never had much beef along the way, I’ve always just said he was scared to fight me,” Gallen said.
“And then he came out a couple of months ago and said, ‘He’s just not a good person’ and that was the end of it for me.
“Like who the f*** does he think he is to judge me as a person?
“There was no beef between us, it was just tit for tat, but for him to try and judge me as a person, I was like, ‘That’s it, that’s the end of it.’
“There’s no relationship there and I never want there to be, I don’t really care.”
While Gallen has ended his career with at least one regret, the premiership-winning Sharks skipper appears content in his decision to hang up the gloves.
“I know I’m done. I’d love to keep fighting, I’d love to keep competing but I’ve got to face the facts, I just don’t have that speed that I had,” he added.
“If I had that Mark Hunt one-punch power I could probably continue but I don’t.”
Since his first fight back in 2014, Gallen has considered himself a prizefighter and he admits he’s done well for himself and his family out of the sport.
And while he may have been it for the money, Gallen can acknowledge his sporting achievements along the way, even if the results didn’t go his way.
“I sparred every bloke in Australia. Guys like Jason Whateley, Joe Goodall, all these guns, I sparred them all and I went okay against them all,” he said.
“When you look back at my career, the only two guys that beat me were the two best fighters in Australia, Justis Huni and Kris Terzievski. Them two fights were pretty special for me.”