You might have heard the rumours.
He can throw 'em, that Papa. Whispers had grown so loud the Canberra Raiders star was already being scoped out for an eventual tilt at the national heavyweight crown.
Then came "the quickest six minutes ever", as Josh Papalii scored a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-28) victory over Ben Hannant in the main event of the All Stars Footy Rivals card at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre on Friday night.
But ask the game's premier prop forward if he thinks he deserved the win and he'll tell you "if you ask me, probably not. I'm a hard critic on myself. If I won something, [I want it] fair and square".
Hannant reckons "Ricky [Stuart] was on the scorecards", confident he had done enough to win the first two rounds before Papalii finished with a flurry.
The pair traded blows for three rounds. Papalii lost his mouthguard midway through the second. Hannant was on wobbly legs late in the third. Now they may one day do it all again.
"Yeah I would, I would [fight again]," Papalii said.
"I knew he would come out, I didn't listen to all the critics out there saying it was going to be a one way fight. I knew the way Benny handled himself on the footy field, and he did that tonight as well.
"He was catching me with shots I didn't see coming, and that's boxing. Everyone expected it to be a one way fight. That was putting pressure on myself to perform, but I knew the character of Benny.
"I'm definitely not going to take that fight. It was a solid performance from both of us. I'm happy I get to tick this off the list and we'll see what's next.
"I'm glad I wore a headgear tonight. I was catching shots I wasn't seeing. For now, it's all footy. This was a great experience. I've got a footy season to prepare for now."
Just like it already is for Nelson Asofa-Solomona, who was supposed to face Papalii. Instead, Melbourne pulled him out and Hannant stepped in on four weeks' notice.
Nobody gave him a shot. He was supposed to be a walkover in the eyes of bookmakers and the majority of punters.
"Tonight was the impossible task. Not one person backed me and said I was a chance to get through the first round. The only people that did were myself, my team, my wife and my kids," Hannant said.
Yet had the scorecards been reversed, few could have harboured genuine complaints. But more important than the result was the difference Hannant and Papalii can make.
Papalii's fee is going to the Win The Day charity aimed at helping those dealing with rare childhood cancers. Hannant wants to donate his gear to the cause, and left with a stirring message.
"The adrenaline rush, it was incredible. My whole career I had people telling me I couldn't do it on the footy field. I never was very good at school, I couldn't read or write, dyslexic, now I'm in radio," Hannant said.
"I've got eight kids and I'm trying to teach them. They're like me, they're not the smartest in the classroom, they're not the most talented on the football field or in the sporting arena.
"But if you want something, try hard enough, work at it, don't make excuses, and you learn from your mistakes, anything is possible.
"I'm a nobody, I'm one of 11 kids. My parents had nothing, my parents still have nothing. I worked from nothing. We're trying to teach the youth all over Queensland. There's so much youth crime going on at the moment.
"These kids, they stay up late when they should be in bed. Scary situations, breaking into houses, stealing keys, stealing cars. If they put the same effort into sport or schoolwork, mate, they won't be looking over their shoulders.
"You see where most of those football players come from, tough backgrounds. They put that energy into a sport, they weren't the best, they had setbacks as well, but they're making millions of dollars now, these guys. Deservedly so.
"It's not just about boxing, it's about passing a message around."
AT A GLANCE
All Stars Footy Rivals fight night -
Todd Carney v Scott Prince ended in a majority draw (29-28 Prince, 28-28, 28-28)
Craig Gower bt Matt Bowen via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Sandor Earl bt Justin Hodges via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Willie Mason bt Sam Thaiday via majority decision 27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Junior Paulo bt Neville Costigan via knockout (round two, 0:33)
Josh Papalii bt Ben Hannant via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-28)