Roosters enforcer Matt Lodge has laid down his terms for a huge boxing bout against NRL legend turned boxer Paul Gallen — and he doesn’t want a “single dollar”.
Last week Gallen beat both Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges on the same night and has one fight remaining on his contract with No Limit boxing.
The man who won a premiership with Cronulla called on promoter Matt Rose to seek out rugby league’s most feared enforcers for his December farewell.
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“I’ve got no issue fighting any current NRL player because there’s not a skerrick of doubt in my mind that I’ll smash every one of them,” Gallen said to foxsports.com.au.
According to Lodge, Gallen’s team approached him to consider the bout.
Lodge made it clear he isn’t in it for the money and his first condition is that $1 million needs to be raised on a GoFundMe page.
These funds will be donated to a youth program or be used to set one up in his native Western Sydney — hoping to “make some kids’ lives better”.
“I’ve been asked to fight, multiple times. I’m sure everyone would love to see nothing more than me get in the ring,” Lodge wrote in a statement on Instagram.
“Last week Paul Gallen said he would ‘smash any current NRL player’ and wants to do so for his last fight.
“Well, after a lot of thinking, I’m willing to give 99 per cent of the people what they want. I’ll jump in the ring with the best boxer rugby league has and give him his grand finale.
“Whenever he wants, as many rounds as he wants. Bankwest Stadium or Northies I don’t really care, you choose. But I don’t box, I’m a footy player so I’m sure as hell not doing it without a purpose – and I don’t want a single dollar for it.
“Instead I want everyone to throw in what they can afford, get the popcorn out, sit on the lounge and enjoy, I want to donate it all to a good cause.”
Lodge went on to explain he is only taking the opportunity to raise funds for “the kids of the area” and is under no illusions how big this fight could be.
He also called on every rugby league fan who has booed him in the past to put their hand in their pocked to see him be “punished”.
“For everyone that can’t forgive me and feels I need to be punished. Well, here’s your chance to watch,” Lodge said.
“By my calculations there has got to be around 50,000 people booing me every touch of the ball for years, that’s only $20 each. Come on guys, put your money where your mouth is. It is for a good cause and hopefully I can stop a few kids making the same mistakes I did.
“I’m not a boxer, I have no interest in being a boxer. I’ve never has a boxing fight and by no means am I calling you out. They have been asking me to do it behind the scenes and this time around I see it as an opportunity.
“Not for me, but for the kids of the area. I’ll take a beating off the best rugby league turned boxer there is on TV to make some kids lives better.
“Everyone knows it’s the one. The best-selling fight two footy players could make.”
The former Broncos and Warriors prop also understands he will be the “villain”, due to his chequered past, allowing Gallen to finish his career as “the hero”.
And still, Lodge wants to step in the ring against the man with a 14-2-1 professional record, who has left Mark Hunt and Lucas Browne in his wake.
Fellow front-rower and friend of Lodge, Aaron Woods labelled the potential bout a “promoter’s dream” before taking a jab at the Roosters enforcer.
“This could be a promoter’s dream, everyone in Australia wants to see Lodgey’s head punched in, we know why he has had a few indiscretions in the past,” Woods said on Triple M.
“He comes across and tries to be a big tough bloke on the field, he hid behind Waerea-Hargreaves on the field.
“He milked penalties when he was at the Warriors and won them the game, this is his opportunity to try and stand up and be a toughie.
“And he has came up against one of the toughest blokes to ever put a glove on… Gallen is always the villain.
“We could all behind Gal for once to see Lodge get his head punched in…. how many people would want to see him get his head punched in, he can’t even make the Prime Minister’s squad at the moment.”
Originally published as NRL bad boy’s one demand for Paul Gallen grudge match