Paul Gallen has left one of the heavyweight division's most gifted knockout artists in his rear-view mirror. He calls Sonny Bill Williams "yesterday's hero". Now he has set his sights on a former UFC champion.
The ex-NRL player secured a unanimous decision (58-56, 58-56, 59-55) win over mixed martial arts icon Mark Hunt in a boxing showdown at Western Sydney Stadium on Wednesday night.
Now Gallen has called out former UFC middleweight title holder Rob Whittaker for a fight in 2021, saying Whittaker walks around at about 95 kilograms, and has told the MMA star to stop pricing himself out of a date in the squared circle.
Whittaker was asked on Grange TV in October 2018 if he would fight Gallen or Sonny Bill Williams in a boxing match and said "of course I would, but I don't think they would" and laughed.
"I thought 'stuff you, you condescending prick'. I'll fight him. I had options for this fight as far other guys go, but Mark was the big name and the big drawcard. I got that one done," Gallen said.
"If we can come to a deal with Rob Whittaker, we'll sort that one out next. I'll have to speak to the Roses but I won't be taking anything less than 50-50.
"I know Rob's team. Alex Prates gave me my blue belt in jiu-jitsu. Justin Lang, I've trained at him gym for the past 10 years. I won't be fitter than him, I won't be stronger than him, it's going to be a challenge.
Gallen's bout with Hunt was certainly no gimmick. Sit ringside to watch the heavyweight duo throw fierce body shots and you can almost feel the impact which sent the crowd of 11,820 into raptures.
Gallen, who moves to 10-0-1 as a professional boxer, was wobbled by a right hand in the second round but bounced back to take control in the third, and it seemed the second half of the fight was going to be the litmus test for 46-year-old Hunt's fitness.
"He sort of showboated a little bit, I think he might have thought he had me dropped, but two quick deep breaths and I came good," Gallen said.
"It was that second round, I don't even know what he hit me with. I didn't even know what happened then, I was rattled without a doubt. We all know what he is renowned for. I'm not happy I got hit like that, but I'm happy I never went down."
The divisive ex-NSW skipper was clipped again in the fourth - but says his stumble was more to do with a rolled ankle - and he rallied again to get the better of the exchanges in close. Whether he could avoid Hunt's looping right hands for long enough seemed the biggest question.
He would do just that, walking away with an unbeaten record in front of a raucous crowd. It leaves him with a sense of pride and a hefty payday, which for Gallen outweighs the perception of legacy.
"What's legacy? Legacy is what other people think of you, legacy is what other people remember you for," Gallen said.
"I couldn't care less. I've been through enough in my life and enough in sport, that I understand the people who are there are important to me, that's my family and friends, they're the only people I need to worry about.
"I don't need to worry about Joe Blow on the street thinks about me, 99 per cent of people were saying I was going to die in this fight or get hammered.
"I can see the haters already tomorrow, saying 'you beat a 46-year-old'. I can read it already, so what's legacy?"
Another handy pay packet would await if Gallen can strike a deal to face Williams, the dual international is 7-0 as a boxer. But the former Shark is sick of waiting.
"Sonny Bill is yesterday's hero, where's he? I've said I'll fight him for years now. Go and ask him," Gallen said.
"Why doesn't someone ask Sonny Bill if he wants to fight me? I'm always the one answering the question, go and ask Sonny. Actually go and ask Khoder [Nasser], Khoder talks for him, Sonny can't talk."
On this night Hunt entered the ring as favourite on the back of his accomplished mixed martial arts and kickboxing background - the second of his two professional boxing bouts prior to tonight came 20 years ago, and neither saw him victorious.
Yet his last bout inside the UFC's famed octagon came more than two years ago, and the knockout artist dropped four of his final five fights. A loss prior to that was overturned to a no contest when Brock Lesnar tested positive to clomiphene.
Even so, he told Gallen this was his yard, this was not a football field upon which the former Cronulla Sharks captain played any of his 348 NRL games, 24 State of Origins or 32 internationals.
Gallen arrived wearing a shirt labelled "Hunter", facing his toughest test having spend the majority of his time in the ring with current or ex-footballers - a test he passed with flying colours.
"He got away with it, and good on him," Hunt said. "I was happily retired before he called me out."
So do we see this again?
"Whatever, man, whatever."