Paul Gallen has admitted he was more than nervous when stepping into the ring with UFC Heavyweight prospect Tai Tuivasa during 'secret' sparring sessions ahead of Gal's upcoming boxing bout.
"Last Saturday morning ... yeah, I was more than a little nervous," Gallen told News Corp.
“So sparring against him, I was definitely nervous."
“Tai is a big boy. Hits hard.
“And given he’s sitting around 120kg at the moment, it’s fair to say I was just happy to get through our two sessions.”
Tuivasa, who is set to make his UFC debut at the upcoming Sydney Fight Night, conceded Gal is no pushover in the squared circle.
“Oh, he throws punches in bunches ... Gave me a shiner, too" Tuivasa said.
“Gal got me in the final few seconds of our last spar.
“I was a bit lazy and he cleaned me up.
“But the two training sessions we did were awesome.
"Gal’s a freak the way he just keeps throwing punches - I didn’t think he was ever going to stop.”
Gal, undefeated in seven professional fights, hopes to dispatch of Fijian Puna Rasaubale on Friday night and look for a 'money fight' with Sonny Bill Williams early next year.