Paul Gallen has given a Sydney radio host a suspected broken rib after a boxing stunt turned into a “massacre” last week.
In a video released by Nova 96.9’s Fitzy and Wippa on Monday, Gallen is seen dropping Nova newsreader Matt de Groot with a powerful kidney shot while they filmed a promotional video ahead of Gallen’s return to the ring against AFL great Barry Hall in Melbourne on Friday night.
The breakfast radio show claims de Groot has been left with a suspected broken rib after being handed the nightmare task of being challenged to spend a full 30 seconds in the ring with Gallen.
Breakfast radio stars Ryan Fitzgerald and Michael Wipfli admit it was a complete “stitch up” to throw de Groot into the deep end against Gallen, after leading him into the boxing ring with a blindfold on before revealing he would be trading punches with the former Cronulla Sharks captain turned undefeated boxer.
De Groot was handed the unwanted gig because the radio stars believe he is a doppelganger for the former Sydney Swans premiership captain, who is stepping into the ring against Gallen at Margaret Court Arena.
Challenged to last a full 30 seconds in the ring against the heavyweight fighter, de Groot’s day went from bad to worse when he was rocked with a thundering kidney shot that left him rolling on the deck in pain — less than two seconds short of making it through the full 30 second challenge.
Having also ben dropped to one knee with an earlier body shot, Nova described the sparring session as a “massacre”.
Nova said in a statement, de Groot has had X-rays and will receive the results on Tuesday.
He said it still hurts to cough, laugh or move days after the sparring session.
“He’s a little bit red around the ribs,” Wipfli said on the Monday morning show.
“He was shaking yesterday. He was completely shaken.”
De Groot said the punch that Gallen dropped him with felt like “being hit with a sledgehammer.
“I said to him in advance, throw your absolute best mate, because I reckon I can take it. I could not take it.
“As soon as I realised who I was in the ring with I just laughed and thought well, Matt, you’ve had a good run. But I was also pretty sure if I just covered my face and moved around a lot I could ride the 30 seconds out. I got close.
“I thought I was doing OK until that last shot. As soon as he got me with that one it just felt different and I was like, ‘Oh OK, you could be in trouble here’.
“My wife was there, and kept saying, ‘What did you expect would happen?’ I honestly didn’t think I’d possibly break a rib.
“It’s sore, but it’s more just annoying because it hurts to laugh, or cough, or move for that matter. I’ll get the X-ray results tomorrow, but the recovery is the same either way, so I’m just in for an annoying few weeks.
“I’ve been asked why I didn’t try to hit him back. Firstly, you’ll see I did get a few limpish body shots there, but mostly I was afraid if I did hit him, it’d make him angry and he’d want to hit me harder.”
“I couldn’t be more fine with it. If anything if Gal wasn’t able to do damage to me I’d be concerned for him. I wanted him to go hard, otherwise what’s the point. My ribs disagree.”
Gallen recently returned from a trip to the UK, where he organised sparring sessions with the likes of Hughie Fury, who is the cousin of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury as well as up-and-coming Hull boxer Sonny Taylor, who stands the same height as Hall.
He also got into the ring with Rocky Fielding, who late last year lost a WBA super middleweight title fight to Canelo Alvarez.
“To be able to train with guys like that and see the work they do was good,” the 38-year-old said.
“I’ve prepared well and I’m going to ruin everyone’s night next week.”