There was no doubt Mark Hunt landed the more damaging shots in his heavyweight fight against Paul Gallen on Wednesday night.
A right hand in the second round that wobbled the former NRL star and left hooks in the fourth and fifth rounds were clearly the most impactful punches of the bout.
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There was also no doubt Gallen was the busier man for most of the six-round slugfest and landed significantly more punches.
But after the three judges returned a unanimous decision win for the former NSW Origin captain – Brad Vocale had it 59-55 in Gallen’s favour while Will Soulos and John Cauchi scored it 58-56 – there were plenty of viewers who felt Hunt had been robbed.
“An awful and incorrect decision,” tweeted The Daily Telegraph’s Nick Campton. “Fair play to Gallen, he’s very tough but that’s a bad call after a bad fight.
Mark Hunt delivered the most telling blows. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
“Should be 4-2 Hunt. Gallen is very tough and fought well but it makes me sad it was so close.”
“A clear win to Hunt but Gallen fought well and was always going to get a decision win,” added Channel 7’s Chris Garry.
In the end it came down to a matter of taste as many others delivered a verdict of a draw or preferred Gallen’s superior workrate.
“I scored Gallen-Hunt a draw but I thought Gallen was the busier so happy with the decision,” Adam Santarossa tweeted.
NSW rugby league legend Phil Gould scored it for Gal. “Great fight. Tough effort from Paul Gallen. Took plenty, but dished out plenty,” Gould tweeted. “I reckon Paul Gallen wins the fight. Brilliant!!”
Man that was impressive from Gal.
How did he not hit the canvas on those Hunt punches.#GallenHunt
That's what happens when you turn up to a fight clearly unfit. Doesn't matter how good you are, the busier guy will win. Gallen had a game plan to tie up Hunt and it worked. While he didn't land the power shots, the volume of Gallen's shots gave him the decision. #GallenHunt
One wide scorecard but didn’t have an issue with the winner. Personally had it a draw. 4-2 either way was cool. Gallen was more active but every time Hunt landed they were the much more effective punches. Turned out to be a good 6 round co main event #TszyuMorgan #GallenHunt
In the end the final word went to Hunt, who posted a classy message to social media acknowledging his opponent was the better man.
“Congratulations to Paul Gallen well deserved win. U have my respect. Part time fighter beat my ass,” Hunt wrote. “But I had so much fun tonight getting back into the ring.”
His post included a photograph of his face, which had taken damage.
Mark Hunt was marked up under both eyes.Source:Instagram
Hunt could have stopped it all in the second round when he rocked Gallen with a thunderous right hand that left him vulnerable to a follow-up. Instead, Hunt turned to his corner and spread his arms out as if to suggest he had the fight sown up, only to realise his opponent wasn’t going to crumble as meekly as he thought.
Gallen fought back to see out the round, then showed courage to make it all the way through six rounds.
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“He hit me with something in the second round and I don’t even know what it was. I didn’t even know if I hit the deck or not, but it got me real good,” Gallen said.
“Thankfully I sucked it in. I saw that (Hunt showing off) — that was when I came to.
“He should’ve jumped all over me, that was his opportunity and you miss all the opportunities you don’t take.
“Thankfully he didn’t come for me and I came good.”
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