UFC star Robert Whittaker says he wants boxing match with NRL legend Paul Gallen to happen 

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Aussie UFC champ Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker reveals how being called a ‘houso’ as a poor kid inspired him to become a fighter – as he eyes down clash with footy star Paul Gallen

  • Australia’s greatest UFC fighter says boxing bout with Paul Gallen on the cards
  • Robert Whittaker will fight American Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24 April 17 
  • The former Middleweight champion has been training with Tim Tszyu 
  • The 30-year-old says he would welcome chance to fight Israel Adesanya again 

Australia’s greatest UFC fighter says a bout with former NRL star Paul Gallen is in his sights after training with Tim Tszyu for his upcoming match.

Robert Whittaker, the country’s first ever champion, worked extensively with Tszyu as he prepares to take on American Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24 on April 17.

The 30-year-old says he brought him into his camp to improve his skills with ‘the best boxer in Australia’ and says a fight with Gallen is definitely on the cards.

‘Gallen has proved himself, hopefully we can get in there and make it happen,’ Whittaker told Daily Mail Australia.

‘There’s no shortage of fights for me, but if I do lineup I’ll treat it with the respect it deserves.’ 

Robert Whittaker, the country's first ever champion, worked extensively with Tim Tszyu as he prepares to take on American Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24 on April 17

Robert Whittaker, the country’s first ever champion, worked extensively with Tim Tszyu as he prepares to take on American Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24 on April 17

Despite once winning the UFC fighter of the year award and holding the prized Middleweight belt, Whittaker says the only thing that motivates him now is his family

Despite once winning the UFC fighter of the year award and holding the prized Middleweight belt, Whittaker says the only thing that motivates him now is his family

Australia's greatest UFC fighter says a bout with former NRL star Paul Gallen is in his sights after training with Tim Tszyu for his upcoming match

Australia’s greatest UFC fighter says a bout with former NRL star Paul Gallen is in his sights after training with Tim Tszyu for his upcoming match

Despite once winning the UFC fighter of the year award and holding the prized Middleweight belt, Whittaker says the only thing that motivates him now is his family.

The fighter says he grew up a ‘houso’ in Sydney’s south and was always worried about making a life for himself and his family, particularly his young son Jack who has been diagnosed with autism. 

‘I do it all for them, to provide for them. I do this so they can have a certain lifestyle and make them happy.’

Whittaker heads into his bout with Gastelum with 11 wins from his last 12 fights – the only loss coming to New Zealand sensation Israel Adesanya.

The 30-year-old, who recently said Adesanya was avoiding a rematch with him, told Daily Mail Australia he would welcome the opportunity to fight his fellow New Zealand-born fighter with whom he has ‘no relationship’. 

A number of footy players have been finding themselves taking up both MMA and boxing both during and post their careers, something Whittaker welcomes.

‘Why not, if after their football career they can make some more money I’ll never discourage anyone for trying it,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

In particular, Whittaker sounded out Gallen as someone who’s impressed him since entering the fight game.

‘He’s done a great job, [against former UFC fighter Mark Hunt] he fought smart and clearly trained really hard for the fight.’

Whittaker (right) says he worked with Tszyu (left) as a way to push himself 'out of his comfort zone' and improve his skills as a fighter

Whittaker (right) says he worked with Tszyu (left) as a way to push himself ‘out of his comfort zone’ and improve his skills as a fighter

Whittaker heads into his bout with Gastelum with 11 wins from his last 12 fights - the only loss coming to New Zealand sensation Israel Adesanya

Whittaker heads into his bout with Gastelum with 11 wins from his last 12 fights – the only loss coming to New Zealand sensation Israel Adesanya

'I do it all for them, to provide for them. I do this so they can have a certain lifestyle and make them happy'

‘I do it all for them, to provide for them. I do this so they can have a certain lifestyle and make them happy’

The mixed-martial artist says his unusual training with Tszyu that ‘took him out of his comfort zone’ will be helpful against Gastelum, who is coached by reknowned trainer Rafael Cordeiro.

‘He can take the fight anywhere, he can go inside or outside, ground or stand.’ 

Whittertaker vs Gastelum is the main event at UFC Vegas 24 on April 17 which can be watched on Australia on PPV. 

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