The showdown between two NRL wild men turned out to be a dud, with Anthony Watts’ dislocated shoulder handing victory to Paul Gallen via Technical Knockout after just one minute and 28 seconds at Sydney’s Horden Pavilion.
Bulked up bad boy Watts was expected to provide decent opposition for Gallen after claiming an emphatic 28-second knockout victory in his first professional fight only last month. NSW captain Gallen, who spent part of last week in hospital having an infection treated, also had just one pro bout under his belt, a TKO win over Herman Purcell in February.
But after a collision early in the first round, it became clear Watts was in considerable discomfort, and referee Mick Heafy called a halt soon afterwards when Watts was unable to continue.
Watts played 52 games as a utility for Cronulla and North Queensland from 2007-10 before stints with Sydney Roosters (assault incident) and Widnes (injury) unravelled. An association with bikie gang the Finks was followed by an infamous incident playing for Tugun Seahawks on the Gold Coast, where he banned for eight games for allegedly biting an opposing Bilambil player’s penis. He was in jail earlier this year on another violence-related charge.
Hooker/half Watts made his NRL debut alongside Gallen for the Sharks in 2007 and played four further matches for the club under the Blues enforcer’s captaincy.
For Gallen, the anti-climatic win in the ring was a bright spot in a dark off-season, which has been plagued by an ASADA-related ban and a $50,000 fine from the NRL for a vulgar post on Twitter.