Paul Gallen has urged Sonny Bill Williams to try and replace him as Australia’s reigning Pay-Per-View star, revealing he has grossed $25 million in the past three years alone.
On the eve of his hyped professional sporting farewell, Gallen has opened up to Fox Sports Australia about the staggering cash windfall his fists have amassed.
While the NSW Origin great is estimated to have received $9 million in total purse earnings, his bouts have apparently amassed almost three times that amount since 2020 – a period which includes his biggest fights against Justis Huni, Mark Hunt and Lucas Browne.
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Gallen said that while Anthony Mundine grossed $75 million during his storied fight career, his own final three years have been worth a staggering $8.3 million annually.
During that period Gallen has made six memorable walks to the ring – including showdowns against Huni, legendary UFC heavyweight Hunt and Browne, the tattooed Sydney product who doubles as Australia’s first world heavyweight champ.
Yet with Wednesday’s rematch against Justin Hodges now said to be his last, Australian promoters are already searching for new crossover athletes to fill that void the Cronulla premiership hero leaves behind.
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Among the possible contenders is Roosters premiership hero Siosiua Taukeiaho – who fights retired South Sydney enforcer Jaiman Lowe on the undercard of Gallen’s farewell.
Other names being discussed include Samoan World Cup star Junior Paulo, NRL bad boy Matt Lodge and, most obviously, Williams.
While the former All Black was surprisingly kayoed earlier this month by Hunt, Gallen insisted his old nemesis could still make a big earn in the fight game.
It was a potential fight with SBW that initially saw Gallen take up fighting in 2014.
A showdown between two of the nation’s most high-profile athletes has never eventuated however, despite British promoter Eddie Hearn even having offered $4 million to each man if they would fight twice.
Yet while Gallen has no doubt Williams could still command big money in his absence, he questions if the 37-year-old father even wants to fight anymore.
“There’s definitely plenty of money to be made,” Gallen said of the Australian fight scene.
“But I just don’t know if Sonny wants to do it.
“I’ve been told recently by a lot of people that Sonny, he doesn’t actually like fighting much.
“Whether it’s true or not, I dunno.
“You’d have to ask him.
“But if I were Sonny I wouldn’t be stopping.”
Gallen added that Williams’ recent loss to Hunt would not prevent him from earning big.
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“Because Hunt is a legend,” he stressed.
“And while some people will say ‘oh but Gallen beat him’, yeah, I did beat him. But I still think the money will be there if Sonny keeps fighting.”
Asked if he thought Williams could rise up and replace him as an Australian Pay-Per-View star, Gallen said: “The guy is 37.
“And look at what has happened with me from roughly the same age.
“I’ve grossed $25 million over the past three years.
“That’s a lot of money.
“Anthony Mundine, he grossed $75 million over almost 15 years.
“So $25 million in three years … no, I wouldn’t be leaving if I were Sonny.”
Elsewhere, Gallen suggested that while they may never meet in the ring, there was little chance he and Williams would ever become mates – “some people just don’t mix,” he laughed – while also stating he had no respect for his professional fight record.
“But I’m still not going to talk s… about him,” Gallen said.
“As I’ve said, I think he should keep fighting.
“As for who he takes on though? No idea.
“When you break down his record, it isn’t good. But if there are big enough fights I would be taking them.”