Paul Gallen lands a left hook on Barry Hall. Picture: AAP/Michael Dodge
Paul Gallen lands a left hook on Barry Hall. Picture: AAP/Michael Dodge

UFC legend Hunt names price to KO Gallen

AUSTRALIAN UFC legend Mark Hunt is "surprised" Paul Gallen wants to fight him in a blockbuster 2020 boxing match, but will agree to the bout for a guaranteed purse of $1 million.

Hunt, now 45, and having spent 22 years fighting the baddest men on the planet - including US megastar Brock Lesnar - is willing to fight Gallen on a huge Sydney fight card as soon as April.

While the cult western Sydney heavyweight, who has boxed professionally only twice, is now 15 months removed from his last UFC appearance, he has no problem reviving his signature 'Walk Off KO' against the NSW Origin great, who is unbeaten in 10 professional bouts.

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Better, Hunt is also vowing to donate a chunk of his $1,000,000 purse to those across affected by both bushfires and floods across the country in recent weeks.

Asked if he was surprised by the Gallen call out, Hunt said on Monday: "Absolutely it's a surprise.

"This is a fight that was first mentioned to me two years ago, but nothing happened.

"And Paul and I, we've had lunch together, broken bread together.

"So then when I got this latest offer, I was thinking 'who looks after this guy? Don't they realise we know each other?'

"But I guess that's how it is in boxing."

Mark Hunt has some of the heaviest hands in combat sport. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty
Mark Hunt has some of the heaviest hands in combat sport. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty

Hunt confirmed that in recent days he had spoken with Sydney fight promoter Matt Rose, who also manages rising Aussie boxer Tim Tszyu and several NRL stars including Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell.

"And while I didn't know Matt was going to the media, yeah, I've given him a figure," continued the MMA legend, who since retiring has turned his hand to running a string of Live Well Health Clubs in Gregory Hills, Rouse Hill and soon Eastern Creek.

"And at $1 million, it's a big figure too. I realise that.

"But I'm not just some local guy.

"The Mark Hunt brand, it's a global brand.

Paul Gallen fought to a controversial draw against Barry Hall. Picture: AAP/Michael Dodge
Paul Gallen fought to a controversial draw against Barry Hall. Picture: AAP/Michael Dodge

"I'm one of the best fighters in the world so that number … I actually think it could be a lot higher.

 

"And I've also told Matt Rose that a portion of my money for this fight will go to charity. If I can give something back to a good cause, to some people who are doing it tough after the bushfires and floods, then great.

"We've put the figure to them so we'll see.

"They've gone public with all this so now it's on them, not me."

Among the highest paid fighters in the UFC at the height of his career, Hunt has since fallen out of favour with the company - and UFC president Dana White - over the past two years after unsuccessfully launching a multi-pronged lawsuit alleging the promotion conspired to cheat him out of a fair fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 200.

A young Mark Hunt (L) with the great Ernesto Hoost before the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix. Picture: Peter Ward
A young Mark Hunt (L) with the great Ernesto Hoost before the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix. Picture: Peter Ward

After the fight, which Hunt lost via decision, Lesnar was found guilty of using performance-enhancers, with the fight then overturned to a 'no contest'.

The cult heavyweight has also spent years demanding the UFC better pay its athletes.

Undoubtedly, Hunt remains an undeniable draw for Australian fight fans.

And when Gallen fought AFL great Barry Hall last year, in what was the later's professional debut, it was reported that both mean earned in the vicinity of $600,000.

Currently, Hunt remains in discussions with several MMA organisations about a return to competition, but says he would happily make a brief foray back into boxing, despite having had only two professional fights, the last of which was in 2000.



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