Another Origin decider appears set to be held in Queensland, with state legends Justin Hodges and Paul Gallen on course to trade blows in the boxing ring.
Maroons great Hodges called out the former Blues captain immediately after his latest fight, as he looks to take a Origin decider of his own back to the Sunshine State.
Hodges said the pair have agreed to a fight and had placed a bet with each other ahead of the State of Origin series decider. The two proud state representatives agreed that whichever team won the decider would determine which state hosts their NRL mega fight.
Queensland won the shield back for their state after one of the greatest rugby league matches of all time in Brisbane last week, winning 22-12.
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While the bout with Gallen had apparently already been agreed between the fighters, Hodges well and truly set up the blockbuster after he claimed his fifth career win on Wednesday.
The former Broncos captain beat social media influencer Jordan Simi, just three weeks after his last fight with Ben Hannant in Brisbane.
Fighting in enemy territory for the first time since December, Hodges made sure to remind the New South Wales crowd of last week’s State of Origin decider before calling out Gallen.
“I’ve got one fight left. (I’ve) agreed to it, Gal’s agreed to it,” Hodges told Main Event’s Ben Damon after the fight.
“He made the bet (that) whichever team won Origin, so Queensland kicked their arse so he’s got to come up to Queensland.
“He might have a lot more experience than me but I’ll go out and throw as many right hands as I can and I’ve only got to get him once. He’s got a pretty big head.
“I go into every fight confident.”
While rugby league fans have had plenty of interest in this potential matchup, Hodges made his return to the ring with something to prove to Matt and George Rose from No Limit Boxing.
After his fight with Hannant, Hodges was told to either wait a while for the Gallen fight to potentially happen, or to return to the ring himself.
But considering that he’s on the “wrong side of 40”, that was never really an option as looks to finish his sporting career by the end of the year.
While a heartbreaking personal tragedy almost saw his fight with Simi called off, Hodges had his hand raised after beating Simi and immediately affirmed his ambitions to take on the proven heavyweight boxer.
“I think that’s what everyone wants to see and I’ve got no doubt I can beat him,” he said in his change room after beating Simi.
“We’ve both agreed to it, we’ve both said yes, it’s up to Matty and George to make it happen. Matt wanted me to have this fight, I took the fight, I did everything they wanted me to do. I won the fight.
“I didn’t get a knockout but I still won the fight. I’ve got one fight left and Gal made the bet (if) Queensland won so bring his arse up to Queensland, I’ll give him a hiding.”
Foxsports.com.au understands Gallen was set to attend the event at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion but unfortunately was stuck in rural NSW.
The war of words between the pair has been heating up over the past month, with Hodges issuing a challenge after his win over Hannant.
“If Queenslanders want to see me knock out the dirty cockroach,” Hodges said.
“I know Gal’s got heaps more experience than me but I’ll jump in and have a go, I don’t give a s***. I don’t how long I’ll last but I know if I get him, he’ll be asleep.”