Joey Leilua has defeated Chris Heighington by unanimous decision and in the process silenced his critics in a big way while a strange call-out from John Hopoate caused drama.
“For all those haters that f***ing said I can’t last four rounds, thanks mate,” Leilua said post-fight.
“You gave me the inspiration tonight. I knew I could fight, I just wanted to f***ing show the whole world that I could f***ing last four rounds.
“You stare on top of me being fat and can’t last four rounds, you know what? F*** yourselves, there you go.”
Watch Paul Gallen vs Darcy Lussick LIVE on Main Event available on Foxtel & Kayo, Wednesday 22nd December from 7pm AEDT. ORDER NOW >
Leilua was not the only one who felt that way though.
Heighington may have clashed with the former Tigers and Raiders star before Wednesday’s fight but was complementary after the bout was done.
“He pressured well and held me well. Credit to Joey, everyone hates on him but I can see the good in the guy. All the best over in England, Joey,” he said.
“We had a chat early days in the promo and he was OK. I’m not judging him on what he said before the fight. All the best to him.”
“I’m stoked I got in here. I’m 39-years-old, I just took on a bit of a beast so I’m pretty proud. Didn’t get the W but, who cares I got in there and had a go.”
There was also a bizarre run-in with John Hopoate and Leilua’s wife, as revealed by Paul Kent.
“After the fight, John Hopoate who is here in the audience went over to his corner and appeared to be calling him out,” Kent told Main Event.
“Joey’s wife and trainer told him where to go.”
‘BEYOND BELIEF’: Gallen rocks Lussick in statement win after ‘illegal’ move
A fairly close first two rounds said Leilua start slightly stronger but Heighington was also able to land a couple of solid punches.
A relatively uneventful third round saw the pair talked to by the referee after continued clinching slowed down the action.
Heighington was even warned at one point by the referee for tackling.
“It’s not football, it’s boxing,” he was told.
In the end, neither could land the decisive shot with the fight going the distance and to the scorecards, with Leilua coming out on top.