Rugby league great Paul Gallen has earned the biggest win of his fledgling boxing career, with a first-round demolition of former world champion Lucas Browne in Wollongong.
Gallen dropped the heavyweight veteran twice in the opening round, before unleashing a flurry of shots to the head that forced the referee to step in and put an end to the contest.
Despite being 15kg lighter than the former WBA titleholder, Gallen dominated the entire contest, legitimising his standing as a genuine boxing talent.
"I kept saying to myself 'I can knock him out' - and it happened," Gallen said after the win.
"I've been training to be a boxer for 8-10 months. It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to something.
"The more I trained, the more I sparred, the better I became at boxing and it showed tonight."
Since farewelling a decorated rugby league career that included leading Cronulla Sharks to their first NRL Premiership, as well as captaining New South Wales and Australia, the 39-year-old is undefeated through 11 professional bouts.
He's now eyeing a multi-million dollar payday against rising heavyweight Justis Huni later this year, touted for Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.
Sonny Bill Williams has long been proposed as an opponent, but Gallen dismissed suggestions his fellow rugby league great could be next in line.
"I work with Sonny now," he laughed. "It's hard.
"I'm not going to sit here, and call anyone out or talk anyone up. I had 11 hard weeks of training, I just dedicated myself to it so much."
Despite his recent run, Gallen admits his focus is simply on entertainment and making money, and he has no world title aspirations.
"Whoever pays the most, simple,” Gallen said, when asked who he wants to take on next.
"I know I'm a good athlete and I can adapt to anything. I just don't have that ambition.
"It's about providing for my family and about interesting fights for the public. That's what I'm here to do."
The 42-year-old Browne was stripped of his world title in 2016, after testing positive for weight-reducing drug clenbuterol.
He boasts wins over reputed heavyweights Chauncy Welliver and Clarence Tillman among his 29-3 record. His previous bout was a TKO win over John Hopoate in November 2019.
Gallen hopes to fight again before the end of the year.