‘Absolute rubbish’: Code War ends in farce

 

The much anticipated Code War has lived up to expectations with a brutal battle between the two footballing stars.

But a majority draw has left a bitter taste in the mouths of punters after Paul Gallen and Barry Hall slogged it out for six absorbing rounds at Margaret Court Arena on Friday night.

The fight went the distance with Hall continuing to land counter punches, despite the more experienced Gallen setting the pace and asserting himself as the more active fighter.

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The heavily pro-Hall crowd was brought to its feet when Hall landed a powerful left hook as well as several uppercuts that caught Gallen on the side of the head.

The Sharks star was booed as he walked out to the ring which ended up being the loudest crowd cry of the night - until the referee announced the result as a majority draw.

The crowd voiced its displeasure at the result with Gallen coming out on top on one of the cards 58-56, while the other two judges scored the fight a 57-all draw.

Gallen believed he was robbed of the win, slamming the judges after the fight.

"You know maybe if we were in Sydney it would be a different story," Gallen said post-fight. "I constantly had the pressure on, I hit him way more times than he hit me, so I think I won that fight.

"One judge had it right, no doubt about it, and the others got it wrong.

"(A rematch) makes some sense, I think everyone will like it ... let's just get some judges that can score."

Paul Gallen and Barry Hall slog it out.
Paul Gallen and Barry Hall slog it out.

While fans will no doubt be keen to see a rematch in Sydney and Gallen was eager to talk up another dance with the former AFL hardman, Hall wasn't sure.

"It's hard to tell. I don't know if I won or not," he said. "One judge gave it to him so technically he probably won.

"I'm pretty happy with that, in my first time out.

"But it's been a big burden on my family. I miss my boys. I'm not sure. It's been a big tax on my life, I'm not sure if Paul wants to do it again, maybe we can talk down the track."

The rematch was already getting big play on social media but Twitter was dominated by chatter from viewers who were baffled at how the judges could have scored the fight a draw.

 

 

 

 

GALLEN FUMES BUT RESPECT IS OBVIOUS

Gallen was seething in the ring after the fight but said he would be happy to run a rematch with the same judges and promoters, despite last week warning the boxing world he could smell an "ambush" in Hall's favour.

Gallen backflipped on earlier suggestions he would not be interested in catching up for a beer with Hall, declaring there is genuine respect between the two.

The exhausted pair were spotted embracing as the bell went at the end of the sixth round, with Gallen whispering something into Hall's ear.

Gallen refused to reveal what he told Hall.

The Sharks legend was still filthy about the way the fight was scored.

"It probably feels more like a draw with the way it was scored," Gallen said.

"He hit me with some good clean shots, probably one a round, but to me, boxing is about the aggressor, who lands more shots. I hit him more times than he hit me. He was just trying to survive."

Paul Gallen throws a huge right hook.
Paul Gallen throws a huge right hook.

Gallen said he was "ready for a drink" and added Hall can "buy me a bourbon".

Hall said he is happy to have the rematch in Sydney and fight it over three minute rounds.

He regretted not taking the fight to Gallen in the later rounds when he says he got on top.

"I'm just kicking myself at the end that I could have went (harder)," Hall said.

"I had an opportunity to press him at the end and I didn't. (Trainer) Angelo (Hyder) at the end was saying, 'You've got him'.

"I thought I hit him with cleaner shots. He might have hit me with more shots, but I thought I hit him with the cleaner, more technical shots."

Meanwhile, Hall also changed his tune after first conceding in the ring that Gallen probably deserved to win the fight.

Hall said in his post fight press conference the judges awarded the right result.

"I'm not sure about the result. I think it was fair. He probably thinks he won," Hall said.

Barry Hall gets in an uppercut.
Barry Hall gets in an uppercut.

THE ACTION IN THE MARGARET COURT ARENA CROWD

While there was a disappointing, scattered crowd for the first fights of the night, the fans began to flow in after 8pm (AEDT).

Stars, including colourful Melbourne identity Mick Gatto, former AFL Footy Show star Sam Newman, Cricket legend Shane Warne, AFL great Jimmy Bartel and former Aussie cricket captain Michael Clarke were all in the house early.

Comedy duo Hamish and Andy, Dave Hughes, AFL legend Jonathan Brown, Mark Berretta (Channel 7), Erin Molan (Channel 9), Mark Hunt (UFC), Majak Daw (AFL), Brad Hill (AFL) and Dale Thomas (AFL) were all expected to appear at some stage.

After the fight in a video on Twitter with Newman, Warne and his son Jackson said they both thought Hall had won but Newman said he saw the draw coming, choosing "diplomacy".

Though he also got a shot in about the potential rematch.

"You wouldn't think boxing would be rigged would you, oh no, who ever said boxing would be rigged," Newman said.

The 9000-seat venue had been scaled back with black curtains cutting off more than 4000 seats.

Fight officials expected the event to go close to a sellout.


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