AUCKLAND - Australian rugby league hardman Paul Gallen showed again he may have a future in the ring after his playing days are over as he defeated All Blacks loose forward Liam Messam in a charity boxing bout in Auckland.
Gallen, who four-time world champion Danny Green believes could make the grade as a professional boxer, won a split decision against Messam over three two-minute rounds.
Rugby league also won the second battle of the codes bout with Gallen's international teammate Sam Thaiday beating Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna.
Last year 32-year-old Gallen easily dispatched former All Black Hika Elliot at the Fight for Life event, but found things tougher going against Messam who had beaten Wendell Sailor in 2011.
The 29-year-old All Black found it hard to tag the Australian until the final round when a right hand found its mark to rock the Cronulla captain.
But Gallen steered clear of the knockout punch Messam needed to win the bout after the flanker was outpointed in the opening two rounds.