Barry Hall trains with a squad of Euroa and Wangaratta players in Brunswick. Picture: FAIRFAX
JUST days out from his debut for Wangaratta Rovers, Barry Hall says he has no regrets after turning his back on a lucrative boxing career.
The star forward has forfeited a hefty pay packet after choosing country footy over a career in the ring but says he has closed the door for good on boxing.
Hall was expected to pocket a reported $500,000 from a fight against Sydney bouncer Ben “The Overcomer” Wrotniak in May — his first professional bout — but will instead earn an estimated $5000 a game for the Hawks.
The 35-year-old admitted to leaving it too late for a career change.
“I’m done with boxing,” Hall said.
“I love the sport but my heart’s not in it.
“If I had gone into it a couple of years ago I could have gone on.
“I’ve trained pretty hard for 16 years in footy and to go into that is even harder again.
“I did it for four or five months. Every day, twice a day.
“That’s the good thing about playing with Rovers.
“Training on the Wednesday has been my only real commitment.”
Hall, an interested onlooker at Corowa-Rutherglen at the weekend, will play the club’s last four home games, plus finals, starting with Sunday’s big clash against Yarrawonga at W.J. Findlay Oval.
He kicked 746 goals in 289 AFL matches in a 16-season career with St Kilda, Sydney and Western Bulldogs but has placed modest goals on himself.
“I’m not expecting too much,” the big man said.
“I’ve been training on a Wednesday night with the (Melbourne-based) guys for about a month.”
Hall hasn’t ruled out playing again next year.
He said his performances would ultimately decide if he deserved a contract extension.
“If it works out and everyone is happy I will be happy to listen (to the club),” Hall said.
“The indicator would be how I go and how the club sees fit.”
Hall’s second match will be against arch rival Wangaratta on July 29.
His other games will be against Lavington (round 16) and Albury (round 18), when he is likely to face Sydney teammate Tadhg Kennelly.
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