Sport Paul Gallen knocks out former WBA heavyweight champ Lucas Browne in first round
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Paul Gallen knocks out former WBA heavyweight champ Lucas Browne in first round

Paul Gallen knocks Lucas Browne to the canvas at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night. Photo: AAP
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Paul Gallen has maintained his unbeaten professional boxing record with a sensational first-round knockout of former world champion Lucas Browne in their heavyweight showdown in Wollongong.

Furious all week about Browne dismissing him as a “footballer”, the retired rugby league great sent “Big Daddy” to the canvas twice inside the first two minutes with a series of devastating blows to the head.

Browne was given a standing count on the first occasion but was unable to continue after being laid out a second time.

Once again, Gallen entered the ring as the underdog with Browne insisting he’d be the one to land the knockout blow.

But, urged on by his 2016 premiership-winning teammate Andrew Fifita and several other Sharks in the near-sellout crowd, it was Gallen who lived up to his pre-fight promise to destroy Browne’s career.

Now undefeated in a dozen bouts, Gallen collected almost half a million dollars for his latest victory, which has likely set up another monster pay day later in the year against budding Olympian Justin Huni.

Browne is scheduled to meet Huni before the latter heads to the Tokyo Olympics as an amateur, but that blockbuster could be in doubt after Wednesday night’s showing from the 42-year-old.

There may not have been any belts on the line – mostly pride and money – but the fight still drew a galaxy of stars as well as Sharks players.

Australian boxing’s new main man Tim Tszyu was a conspicuous ringside observer, while a host of St George Illawarra players including another of Gallen’s title-winning teammate from 2016, Jack Bird, along with Tariq Sims and Corey Norman were also on hand.

Even Trent Merrin joined his Dragons teammates at the fight just hours after announcing his retirement.

They weren’t disappointed as Gallen, against all odds, continued his rapid rise up the boxing ranks.

-AAP