Gal’s tough­ness hides good heart

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Sport -

THERE is a softer side to Cronulla Sharks warhorse

Paul Gallen, who showed gen­uine care for John Hopoate when he knocked him out at the Hordern Pavil­ion on Fri­day night.

Only the quick re­flexes of the ref­eree saved Hoppa from hit­ting his head hard on the can­vas as he col­lapsed in the sec­ond round.

There was a sug­ges­tion be­fore the fight that Hoppa had bet his $50,000 purse on knock­ing out Gallen. For­tu­nately, it didn’t hap­pen.

“He’s got 11 kids,” Gallen said. “How could you live with your­self if you took his purse? I have a lot of re­spect for Hoppa and I’m pleased he got a good earn out of it.”

The day af­ter he was belted, Hoppa jumped on a plane to Queens­land for a char­ity golden oldies game.

We’ve had our run-ins over the years but there is a very good side to him.

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