Following his controversial loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 251 this past weekend, Max Holloway’s career sits at a crossroads.
Paul Gallen made mincemeat of John Hopoate at the Hordern Pavilion, in the culmination of a great night of boxing.
There was much talk around the clash between the Cronulla Sharks legend and the controversial Hopoate. The weigh-in heightened that tension and the hype around the fight built throughout the day.
The undercard was superb, with Tim Tszyu, Rocky Jerkic and Ebanie Bridges impressive prospects.
Tszyu’s win over Denton Vassell may have introduced the nation to a new star and with the spirit of his father lurking, he should receive considerable support.
The final bout saw Gallen clean up Hopoate in what was a disappointing climax, where the younger man pounded his older opponent through the early stages of the second round.
There was something about the pre-fight talk that suggested an easy win for Gallen, yet it was difficult to finger the exact reason why many felt that would be the case.
In the end, Gallen proved those opinions to be entirely correct.
Youth and fitness looked major considerations and were considerable factors in Gallen’s dominant performance.
In fact, the number of effective blows landed by Hopoate could be counted on one hand.
Gallen will march on towards the NRL season with a premiership on the line and a 9-0-0 boxing record.
A bout with Sonny Bill Williams looms on the horizon and if the rumour mill is anything to go by, next summer could see the Cronulla legend fight again.
As for Hopoate, well, it might be time for retirement – for real this time.
Controversy can only get you so far and his lack of talent in the boxing ring was well and truly on display.
Earlier in the night, former Brisbane Broncos captain Justin Hodges won his first professional fight, defeating Rob Baron by TKO in the first round.
Hodges knocked Baron down three times, which saw the fight ended early.