The Best of the Day preview rolls with the punches for Friday night’s ‘Code War’ bout between footy greats Paul Gallen and Barry Hall. 

Boxing Tips – Paul Gallen V Barry Hall

20:00 (AEDT) @ Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne

Pro boxing record: Gallen – 9-0 (5 by KO); Hall – pro debut

Last meeting: Gallen – d John Hopoate by TKO (Rd 2); Hall – N/A

Final thoughts: The Best of the Day preview delves into arguably the most anticipated Australian boxing event of the year. The ‘Code War’ bout between recently-retired NRL hard-man Paul Gallen and former AFL firebrand Barry Hall has attracted huge interest – helped along by a healthy dose of pre-fight niggle and histrionics.

Cronulla Sharks legend Gallen has had nine professional fights since making his debut in 2014, winning them all. Five of his victories came by knockout.

The calibre of his opponents is questionable, including his most recent bout – a second-round TKO of a 45-year-old, underdone John Hopoate.

‘Hoppa’ was the fourth fellow league star Gallen has fought. But 2016’s unanimous decision over tough front-rower Junior Paulo certainly showed Gallen can take a punch.

A state champion as a teenager, Hall gave up a promising boxing career to pursue an AFL path. There is no shortage of on-field rivals who can vouch for big, bad Barry’s love of a dust-up and the power in his fists.

But this is Hall’s first pro fight – a big ask for a 42-year-old who also hung up the footy boots in 2011. Gallen is 38 and boast the residual fitness of only just calling time on his record-breaking 19-season NRL tenure, as well as far more recent boxing training experience.

The fight will be over six two-minute rounds – at Hall’s request, to Gallen’s chagrin. That helps Hall’s chances of avoiding a knockout loss. But the value here certainly lies in $1.60 head-to-head favourite Gallen backing up his motor-mouthed rhetoric and stopping his taller opponent.

Tip: Method of Victory – Paul Gallen by KO/TKO @ $2.63