Rugby league great Paul Gallen has escalated his war of words with Lucas Browne ahead of their April 21 boxing showdown, with the pair locking horns at a media conference today.
Gallen fired a number of shots at the ex-WBA champion, describing Browne’s greatest achievement as a “reserve grade” title before taking aim at his physique.
Gallen, 39, (10-0-1) will clash with Browne, 41, (29-2-0) in a heavyweight bout in Wollongong next month.
Their first big press conference went the way of Gallen, who took every opportunity to throw some jabs at the former boxing champion.
Browne became Australia’s first and only world heavyweight champion in 2016 when he won the WBA title after defeating Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Chagaev.
But Gallen’s first shot at the heavyweight fighter was a takedown of Browne’s title accomplishment, which the footballer turned boxer described as a “reserve grade” belt.
“He won a version of the world title,” Gallen said.
“He wasn’t the WBA champion at all. He won a version of a world title.
“I would liken it to a reserve grade competition in rugby league. If you win a reserve grade competition, you don’t run around telling everyone you won the NRL Premiership, which is what he does.”
Browne’s rise to the top of the heavyweight division was short-lived. His WBA belt was later ripped away after he tested positive for the banned substance, clenbuterol. He was also suspended by the WBA at the time.
Gallen then took the opportunity to hit out at Browne’s physique, which he suggested resembled someone who needs to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs.
“I saw him yesterday. I didn’t know whether to give him a bra or not — he’s developing a little bit of b–ch tits,” he said.
“Maybe some of the supplements over the years are starting to take effect. My missus actually saw it and said, ‘Give him a bra.’
“I said, ‘Darling, he’s probably too big for you, those b–ch tits.’ So, I’m a little bit concerned about that. We’ve spoken about testing.”
Despite Gallen’s repeated jibes, Browne wanted none of it and chose to take the high road.
“I don’t really like what he says most of the time in regards to me,” Browne said.
“Calling me a bum and saying he’s got better things to do at the end of the year, it does sort of rub me the wrong way considering I’m the best heavyweight we’ve had in Australia.”
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