Beaten Barry Hall explains the HUGE edge Sonny Bill Williams will have over Paul Gallen if their footy super fight goes ahead
- Former AFL star was hammered by Williams in the first two minutes of bout
- Williams raised prospect of a fight with former NRL star Paul Gallen afterwards
- Hall is the only man to have been in the ring with both former footy stars
- ‘Big Bad Barry’ favoured Williams’ chances in comments made after being KO’d
As the only boxer to have fought both Sonny Bill Williams and Paul Gallen, Barry Hall has a unique insight into how a fight between the retired footy legends would go – and he’s backing the ex-All Black’s incredible power to be the difference.
After being blasted into submission by Williams in less than two minutes on Thursday night, Hall apologised for his performance – and made an observation that should give Gallen pause for thought.
‘One thing I can compare is I took Gallen’s punches,’ Hall said of their 2019 fight, which ended in a majority draw.
Barry Hall wilted in the face of Sonny Bill Williams’ explosive punching power on Thursday night – getting smashed to the canvas three times in less than two minutes
It was a very different story when he fought slugger Paul Gallen in 2019, withstanding his power shots to carve out a majority draw
After his lopsided loss, Hall said Williams definitely punches harder than Gallen – and tipped the former All Black to win if the pair finally collide in the ring
‘They certainly don’t have as much sting as Sonny Bill’s. I was a sitting duck tonight.
‘I’d like to see them go at it, if I’m perfectly honest. I’d certainly be ringside.
‘Going off tonight, I think I beat Paul Gallen, but you’d have to think Sonny Bill wins.’
Gallen is a highly aggressive fighter who relies on his power to smash opponents into defeat, whereas Williams has shown he can box clever as well as brawl.
That doesn’t bode well for the former Cronulla Sharks enforcer, who is known for being durable in the ring – he survived some hard shots from UFC knockout artist Mark Hunt in 2021 – but lost by TKO to Justis Huni in his second last bout.
Williams – who outlasted feared puncher Frans Botha in their 2013 stoush – has shown he can survive against fighters who like to rush in, which is a specialty of Gallen’s.
Sonny Bill would also have the edge on Gallen in height, reach, weight and age.
Williams salutes the crowd after knocking Hall into next week. ‘Big Bad Barry’ believes he’ll do the same if his long-awaited fight with Paul Gallen finally comes off
A fight between the pair has been mooted for about 10 years, with Gallen repeatedly calling out the former Bulldogs and Roosters forward.
Williams’ scintillating performance against Hall left former and current boxing champions singing his praises.
‘The sharpness, the fakes from Sonny were incredible,’ said Aussie lightweight world champion George Kambosos.
‘When you catch someone early like that and put the pressure on, it’s very hard to recover.’
Former light-heavyweight world champ Danny Green was in awe.
‘Unbelievable!’ Green said. ‘I’m in shock!’
‘Barry got caught cold. Full credit to Williams. He didn’t miss when he was doing the finishing. He did it with precision.’