Former Maroons stars Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant will take on the ring in an attempt to mount a mega Origin-style battle with blues legend Paul Gallen.
Hodges and Hannant take on it in the ring at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center on Wednesday, June 29, three days after Origin II.
Hannant revealed that the fight had been sold to him as a stepping stone to a shot in the ring with Gallen.
“There’s nowhere to hide on June 29,” Hannant said.
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“Hodgo played in the outer defenders, so he had to do the good things by trying and making good runs.
“But let’s see what he does when people are right in front of him and constantly pressure him.
“I’m going to put him to sleep.
“He’s a boxer. He wants to be a boxer. He hasn’t lied about it. He wants to compete against Paul Gallen.
“The winner of this fight will reportedly have an Origin duel between Hodgo and Gallen or me and Gallen.
“That was sold to me four weeks ago, so in the end he has everything to lose.
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“He has nothing to gain and everything to lose.
“In two weeks after I knock him out, let’s see what I do with six 12 months under my belt if Paul Gallen wants to have a fight.”
Hannant revealed that he has been training around the clock to get into the best form possible after being given only a short term to do battle with Hodges.
“The challenge,” Hannant said when asked why he accepted the fight.
“One thing I missed when I stopped playing football was that challenge of pushing yourself to the limit and trying to be the best version of yourself.
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“The only thing I miss about rugby league is pushing yourself every day to reach your true potential and this is another great opportunity.
“I think it was smart that Hodgo only gave me four weeks notice. I weighed 116kg and only ate pizza, ran after my kids and did my job.
“I was a big mess to put it lightly. In two weeks I’ve lost eight pounds and while Hodgo is sleeping, I’m working. I will be at the gym at 3:30 am.
“I’ve been playing with him for seven years. He’s a Ferrari. He’s an athlete. He’s powerful. He’s skilled.
“He may be a Ferrari, but we’re in a sport where we get beat up and I’m happy to be a 200 Series Land Crusier.”
Hodges revealed that he will likely retire after the Hannant fight if he loses or the Gallen fight if he wins.
“He almost put me to sleep,” Hodges said of Hannant’s press conference.
“I got tired of watching it.
“He won’t put shit to sleep.
“For me it will be either my penultimate fight or my last fight.
“I trained just as hard. A lot of people don’t realize that I work hard. I used to box away from the rugby league pitch. A lot of people don’t know that, but I just didn’t want to bring it out.
“I worked as hard as he did. I don’t have to get up at 2:30 to do that job.”
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