Gallen still filthy with Aloiai as new fight locked in

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Paul Gallen admits "all the pressure" is on him after it was confirmed the former Sharks star will face fellow ex-NRL player Darcy Lussick next month.

Gallen was initially scheduled to fight Manly's Josh Aloiai before he tested positive for COVID-19 and was ruled out of their bout.

The new bout featuring Lussick will shift from Newcastle to Sydney's Star Event Centre and will take place on December 22.

Gallen's fight with Aloiai was set for six two-minute rounds, but now the new fixture has instead shifted to just three two-minute rounds.

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"It's not ideal [the change of opponent]," Gallen said during a press conference.

Paul Gallen, Darcy Lussick (Getty)

"I need to thank Darcy for stepping in, it's a big ask... I saw Darcy train in the lead-up to the Justin Hodges fight and I knew he would win that fight.

"It's going to be a good fight, he can hit hard."

Gallen, 40, has a professional fight record of 11–1–1, while 32-year-old Lussick has just one KO performance against former Broncos legend Justin Hodges.

Gallen said he expects Lussick to "come forward" and "punch" as opposed to Aloiai, who the former Sharks skipper claims wanted to box "pretty".

"Josh Aloiai got what he needed - he doubled his Instagram followers, Manly know his name now, he got what he needed out of it. He's done, he's missed his opportunity," Gallen said.

"Lussick is a harder puncher [than Aloiai].

"I think the other bloke (Aloiai) was going to try and be a bit pretty, I think that's why he wanted the shorter rounds - to be pretty, to try and box. Whereas Darcy is going to come forward and just try to punch me.

Paul Gallen (Getty)

"I saw him train like that, he fought Hodges like that and that's what he's going to do.

"It's a different prospect, three two-minute rounds are going to suit him perfectly, he'll be ready. It's a massive occasion for him and all the pressure is on me to go out there and perform and win.

"Come the night I'll be fit, I'm fit and healthy... the rounds won't be an issue, but Darcy will be the issue and I've got to avoid those big punches and punch him back.

"He will be ready on the night, it's a massive occasion for him.

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"All the pressure is on me. I've got to perform, I've got to get this win."

Gallen said it's the first time in his sporting career where he's had to deal with a sudden change of plans.

"I suppose in my sporting career I've never had to deal with this before," he added.

"If you're playing the Cronulla Sharks on the weekend - you're playing the Cronulla Sharks on the weekend, it doesn't change to the Melbourne Storm overnight.

"I didn't know Darcy was going to pop up, there were four or five other names and I said that I would fight anyone... I told that to the (promoters) Rose boys and they think the best prospect was Darcy Lussick. I'm guided by them."

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