It was clear from the moment Justin Hodges trudged on for his fight with Jordan Simi that the Sydney crowd were against the great home state of Queensland.
Hodges faced an onslaught of boos before and during his clash with the social media personality at the Hordern Pavilion on Wednesday night, which the former Maroons center won by unanimous decision.
So the 40-year-old took great pleasure in bamboozling the crowd when he approached the microphone – and he also baited longtime Origin nemesis Paul Gallen, who he’s on the point to meet in the ring.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Tszyu survives manic finale
READ MORE: ‘Incredible’ jump wins gold at Australian World Championships
READ MORE: Cameron Smith has won a staggering amount of ‘bogan cashed in’
“Who won the Origin?” Hodges said to a chorus of boos like a pantomime villain.
“Stand up chestnuts!
“Boo, boo whatever you want, shut up!
Hodges was then asked by Fox Sports commentator Ben Damon about his impending fight with Gallen.
“Yeah, look, I still have one fight left. I accepted, Gal is okay,” Hodges said.
“He made the bet, whichever team Origin won. Queensland kicked their ass, so he has to come to Queensland.”
While Gallen has a professional boxing record of 12-2-1, Hodges has fought just six fights for a record of 5-1-0.
Gallen also survived 10 rounds with Australian champion Justis Huni, to whom he lost via TKO in June 2021.
But Gallen’s superior record doesn’t scare Hodges.
“He might have a lot more experience than me, but I’m going to throw as many right hands as I can and (I only have to) get him once,” Hodges said.
“He has a pretty big head; I hope I can catch him.
“I approach every fight with confidence, like I played rugby league. It’s different, boxing, and I train hard. I’m going to fight Gal. I don’t give a damn. I’m a man. I’m going to face him face to face in the ring.”
For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by click here!
Here’s who NRL legend Paul Gallen fought during his colorful boxing career