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‘F*** yourselves’: Wife explodes after Joey Leilua wins boxing slugfest

Plenty of people tuned in hoping to see Joey Leilua get knocked out on Wednesday night but he and his wife had the last laugh.

Fans weren’t treated to the knockout they were hoping for but Joey Leilua left the ring with a message for his haters after he beat Chris Heighington in a majority decision win.

Plenty doubted whether the polarising NRL star had the heart to stick out a four-round slugfest in Sydney on Wednesday night but he did just that to convince the judges he’d earned a 38-37, 39-27 (x 2) victory.

“For all those haters that f***ing said I can’t last four rounds — thanks mate, you gave me inspiration tonight,” Leilua said.

“I knew I could fight. I just wanted to show the world that I could f***ing last four rounds.

“The stereotype of me being fat and can’t last four rounds, you know what, f*** yourselves — there you go.”

Leilua’s wife rushed into the ring after his arm was raised and planted a big kiss on his lips, then as she hopped back out through the ropes the cameras caught her appearing to flip someone the bird and throw out some choice words.

Main Event commentator Paul Kent shed some light on the incident, suggesting her reaction was related to former NRL bad boy John Hopoate, who was in attendance.

“What was interesting was after the fight, John Hopoate — who’s here in the audience — went over to his corner and appeared to be calling him out,” Kent said.

“And Joey’s wife, who we might have just caught there on the vision, and also Joey’s trainer told him where he could go.”

Leilua started the fight by throwing a big right hook and Heighington fell back in the corner after the exiled West Tiger advanced.

Leilua landed another right hand over the top and showed what some would argue was more passion inside the first minute of the fight than he did all last footy season.

The referee gave Leilua a warning for pushing his forearm into Heighington’s throat and he heeded the official’s words, sticking to using his fists for the rest of the round as he returned a heavy blow with interest to close things out.

Despite boasting a 14kg weight advantage, Leilua looked light on his feet. “I think he’s better than everyone thought he was,” Main Event commentator Ben Damon said of Leilua, who has faced accusations of laziness and having a poor attitude throughout his rugby league career.

After the frenetic opening, there wasn’t as much action in the second round and Aussie legend Jeff Fenech gave the round to Heighington.

The former England star was the more aggressive to start but Leilua worked up a head of steam and was seeing red as he unloaded with some wild swings, but none of them landed cleanly enough to do much damage.

The referee earned his keep in the third round — there were multiple stoppages as clinches became the order of the day.

Heighington went back to his playing days, tackling Leilua into the ropes to start the fourth and final round, earning a rebuke from the ref.

“It’s not football, alright,” the official told Heighington, before he told Leilua’s corner to “pull his pants up” as they slipped off the 30-year-old.

‘We had a war’: Hodges beats Nathan Ross

Justin Hodges scored a majority points victory (38-38, 39-38, 39-37) over Nathan Ross as the former NRL stars threw down earlier in the night.

“It’s good to have a war, I’ve never been four rounds before,” Hodges said. “I’m too old for this c**p.

“We had a war in there, we tried really hard.”

Ross went to the body inside the first 20 seconds but ate a huge left hook from Hodges, who followed up with a clean uppercut.

Ross then wobbled Hodges with a savage right hand and a minute into the fight it was clear both men were keen to let their fists fly — a stark difference to the wrestle-fest we saw in the previous fight when Aussie strongman Alex Simon was disqualified.

A one-two went straight through Hodges’ defences before the pace slowed slightly as the pair caught their breath heading into the bell.

Ross dropped the first meaningful blow of the second round, a jab landing with a thud on his rival’s midriff. Hodges responded with a heavy hit but the former footy stars looked like they were hitting a wall halfway through the fight.

It was a slow start to the third round before Hodges exploded with a barrage of shots, looking to take advantage as Ross started to gas out. The ex-Newcastle flyer was struggling to match the output he showed in the opening rounds.

Ross drove an uppercut into Hodges’ chin to start the fourth and final round but the former Bronco responded with a massive counter-right. With 1:10 left in the fight, Ross was looking at the clock, wondering how much longer he had to hang on.

The pair were both standing at the end and embraced like old friends at the sound of the final bell.

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