Justin Hodges. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
Justin Hodges. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

‘Absolutely rubbish’: 23 second massacre

Former rugby league star Justin Hodges was left with an empty feeling after he won his second professional boxing bout even quicker than his first.

Heavyweight Hodges, who took 75 seconds to beat Rob Baron on his debut back in February, needed just 23 seconds to stop unheralded late replacement and New Zealander Troy McMahon in Sydney on Wednesday evening.

The former Queensland and Kangaroos centre, who weighed in 12kg heavier than his opponent, staggered debutant McMahon with his first serious punch to the head.

A follow up combination put McMahon down, prompting veteran referee Gary Dean to stop the fight without issuing a count, generating boos from some of the crowd at The Star.

"I don't care about the crowd, the crowd doesn't bother me. I've spent 18 years playing the game of rugby league," Hodges said.

"They are the ones booing, but they should get in the ring and have a go themselves.

 

 

If you blinked you missed it. Picture: Brett Costello
If you blinked you missed it. Picture: Brett Costello

"It is gut wrenching, and an empty feeling, you train hard and you want to have a good fight.

"I didn't have any bad feelings towards him, he took the fight at late notice when a few guys pulled out and he could have been like everyone else too."

Former Australian world titlist Billy Dib branded the fight "an absolute joke". "Good luck building Aussie boxing with rubbish like that going on," he tweeted.

The outing did nothing to disprove fellow rugby league star and pugilist Paul Gallen's pre-fight declaration Hodges isn't in his class.

"I'd flog him," Gallen told nine.com.au. "The fight will never happen. I don't reckon he's got the ability to step in the ring with me.

"But if he wants to keep calling me out … like I said to John Hopoate, be careful what you wish for.

"Hodgo's first fight … you can't really judge too much on that. But I've seen some sparring footage since - he's sparring Lote Tuqiri. Lote Tuqiri is a great bloke and a great footy player, but he's not a fighter.

Troy McMahon. Picture: Brett Costello
Troy McMahon. Picture: Brett Costello

"I don't want to be disrespectful to his opponent that he's about to fight, but he hasn't got an athletic bone in his body. Hodgo's a world-class athlete, fighting a bloke like that.

"People can bag me all they want about boxing, but I've only ever fought professional athletes and NRL players, or people with more combat sport experience than me."

Hodges, who is an assistant coach to Queensland State of Origin rugby league coach Kevin Walters, said he planned to concentrate on the upcoming series and wasn't likely to fight again until November.

News Corp Australia


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