Australia’s leading boxing promotion company hopes former Roosters giant Sio Siua Taukeiaho takes over from Paul Gallen as the “next cross-code star”.
The only problem is no one has stepped up to fight Taukeiaho on the undercard of Gallen’s farewell bout against Justin Hodges in Sydney next Wednesday night.
No Limit Boxing is working desperately to find a match for Taukeiaho, who found time during the Rugby League World Cup to hone his boxing.
In Gallen’s words, No Limit Boxing is “looking for the next Paul Gallen”, and the rugby league legend has heard Taukeiaho “can punch like a beast”.
Eels wrecking ball Junior Paulo would have made for a dream match for Taukeiaho, but he will be in no state to step in the ring after the World Cup final between Australia and Samoa on Sunday (AEDT).
“He was over in the UK at the Rugby League World Cup doing extra training and waiting for the confirmation as to who he was going to fight on the Gallen-Hodges undercard, but sadly we’re still waiting,” said No Limit Boxing chief executive George Rose.
“No one has stepped up to the plate.
“I’m sure he would’ve loved to have been playing in the World Cup final, but his team advised us weeks ago that he was so committed to fighting on this card he was willing to ditch any post-final celebrations or holidays to return home and fight.”
It’s a rare disappointment for No Limit, which has helped make Australian boxing popular again through spectacular fight nights, full-card press conferences and the star power of Gallen and Tim Tszyu.
“It’s pretty rare for us to be in a position with a big platform on Main Event and not be able to match someone on debut, so clearly boxing types have done their research on him,” Rose said.
“Paul Gallen is a cross-code icon and he bows out next Wednesday night, so of course we’re looking for someone to step up and fill the void he’ll leave.
“Gal has proved if you have the drive and commitment to training and give boxing the hours it deserves, then the world is your oyster.
“And if what Sio Siua has shown to date in juggling his World Cup commitments and boxing training, then who knows, perhaps he could be our next cross-code star.”
Taukeiaho was at the Rugby League World Cup representing Tonga, who was eliminated by Samoa in a 20-18 quarter-final defeat in Warrington.
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Taukeiaho played his final game for the Roosters this year and is set to join the Catalans Dragons in the Super League.
Gallen fired a warning at the man mountain.
“There are some big punchers in the world that don’t really go on, so he’s got to learn that there’s a lot more to it than just being able to punch hard,” Gallen said.
“You’ve got to be able to land that punch.
“There’s obviously Junior Paulo there, as well. No Limit’s looking for the next Paul Gallen and it sounds like there’s a couple of good ones there … hopefully they can find a fight for him and he can show how good he is.
“Hopefully one of them, Junior Paulo or Taukeiaho, take over from me and lead the way, lead the charge for the footy boys and get in there and give it a go.”
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