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Australian boxing legend Johnny Lewis calls for fighter and former NRL star Paul Gallen to retire

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Aussie boxing legend calls for ‘old man’ Paul Gallen to retire – revealing he’s worried about former NRL star’s health and not having any fight left in him

  • Johnny Lewis thinks Paul Gallen should stop boxing immediately
  • Boxing trainer says Gallen looks old, sluggish and risks permanent damage
  • Lewis says he doesn’t want the NSW Blues legend to become a statistic

Australia’s top boxing coach, Johnny Lewis, says Paul Gallen looks like an ‘old man’ and must retire immediately – or risk permanent damage.

Gallen’s recent attempt to take down two fighters in one night was ultimately successful, but it was also a lot more competitive than it might have been.

In what appeared to be a brawl in a pub, the 41-year-old Blues legend had to climb off the canvas to take a win over a relatively inexperienced Justin Hodges at the Nissan Arena in the Origin Rumble.

Famed Australian boxing trainer Johnny Lewis believes Paul Gallen should stop boxing immediately or risk permanent damage

Paul Gallen is pictured after his recent double header against Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges

Paul Gallen is pictured after his recent double header against Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges

Boxing fans were shocked – as was Johnny Lewis, who led the careers of world champions Jeff Fenech, Kostya Tszyu and Jeff Harding.

“I was shocked,” Lewis said. “I didn’t think there was that much going on,” Lewis told the… Daily Telegram.

“This year he (Gallen) has deteriorated as a fighter,” Lewis said. ‘Being strong is not enough.

“He’s slower and looks like an old man. I don’t mind telling him, but I don’t know if he’ll listen.

“Don’t even have one last fight. It could undo all the good things he’s done in boxing.

‘He should leave it at that.

“He’s no different from anyone else when the time is up.”

Gallen defeated Hodges by TKO, but not before he was knocked down himself

Gallen defeated Hodges by TKO, but not before he was knocked down himself

Lewis has seen the sad side of the fighting game, where fighters stay in the game for too long and get away with permanent neurological injuries.

“It can only take one more blow – and I don’t want it to become a statistic.”

As it stands, Gallen is planning at least one more fight before hanging up the gloves for good. He has recently admitted that he is beginning to worry about all the damage he has accumulated over the years of boxing and rugby league.

“It’s funny, I never thought about brain damage until the last six months. I’ve never worried about it. I never considered it. But suddenly it dawns on me,” Gallen said.

“I look after my children and I want to be a good father to them for a long time to come.

The crowd was stunned when Gallen was knocked out by the relatively inexperienced Hodges

The crowd was stunned when Gallen was knocked out by the relatively inexperienced Hodges

“We don’t know if you have CTE until you’re dead, but I know a lot of boxers in their 40s and 50s – they’re a bit slower mentally and physically and I can’t be that person with the media roles I have (commentary to Channel 9) .’

Lewis believes Gallen must make the decision now, as he is not the fighter or athlete he once was.

“One thing he has — and no one will ever take it from him — is courage,” Lewis said.

“He’s as brave as any fighter who’s come into the ring. But if Hodges had gotten off the ropes and held the center a little bit, he could have stopped him.”

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