Home » Huni’s next opponent’s swipe at star’s record

Huni’s next opponent’s swipe at star’s record

Justis Huni will return to the ring from a broken hand against undefeated Australian Joseph Goddall on February 4 in Brisbane.

Huni (5-0, 4KO) and Goodall (7-0-1, 6KO) formally announced their fight today which will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The pair will be competing for the WBO Oriental and IBF Pan-Pacific Regional titles, while Goodall will put up his WBC Australasian belt.

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Huni hasn’t fought since damaging his hand in his 10th round stoppage victory over Paul Gallen – an injury that forced him to sit out the Tokyo Olympics.

Team Huni and promoter Dean Lonergan have a big 2022 planned, with seven fights in the works, which means fighting roughly every 45 days. If things go to plan, the Aussie is hoping to break into the top five by the end of next year.

Lonergan says the winner will enter the top 15 of the IBF and WBO, putting the star on the path to a heavyweight title shot.

But before that he has to face Goodall, a silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, who is now based in Las Vegas, where he works and lives with highly respected Kiwi trainer Kevin Barry.

Barry has trained heavyweight contenders David Tua and Joseph Parker in the past and is known for his meticulous approach. He was in Parker’s corner when he won the world title five years ago.

Huni and Goddall know each other well and have sparred over 100 rounds albeit when Huni was an amateur and Goodall was starting out in the professional ranks.

They share a mutual respect, although Goodall couldn’t help but throw a verbal jab at Huni for his performance against Gallen.

“He went to the 10th round with Paul Gallen. Someone like Paul Gallen isn’t going ten rounds with me. There’s just no way,” he said.

Huni responded: “I inflicted a lot of damage on Gal. That’s all that matters. I got the ‘W’. Styles make fights. If he could get him out of there before the ten rounds, good on him.”

The Bendigo born Goodall, who also won a bronze at 2017 world championships, has one draw during his career against Christian Tsoye, the man Huni beat via decision before defeating Gallen. Goodall turned pro in 2018 and the last time they sparred was about five years ago when Huni was 17, says father and trainer Rockie Huni.

“What happens in sparring stays in the ring. They’re the two best heavyweights in Australia,” he said

“I don’t believe we can go internationally when we haven’t beaten the best in Australia. We don’t believe we need a warm up fight.

“We don’t want to fight any donkeys. We want incredible fighters. We respect Joe and Kevin Barry but we didn’t take this fight if we thought we were going to lose.

“The key things we’ve been working on is certain combinations and certain punches he will be sitting on. We know we’re in the pros, we’re not there to collect points we’re there to do damage to our opponents.”

Barry said no stone will be left unturned during Goodall’s preparation and insisted that no matter what Huni has in store, things can turn instantly in a fight.

“It’s great to talk about plans but plans change very very quickly. I haven’t been sitting on my hands,” Barry said.

“One thing I can promise is that there will be no trainer they have come across who will study everything that you do. If Joseph Goodall can’t beat Justis Huni it will be because he’s not good enough, it won’t be because he’s not prepared.

“When he arrived there were a lot of things about his game that weren’t really working for him,” added Barry. “His balance wasn’t that wonderful. His jab was only out there to throw his right hand. He’s developed his balance now which is giving him a chance to throw more powerful punches.”

Promoter Lonergan proclaimed that this fight is between the best heavyweights in Australia, despite another Queenslander also making waves overseas.

Queenslander Demsey McKean’s fight record stands at 20-0. He made his US debut last week, recently signed with Matchroom promotions, and has served as sparring partner for Anthony Joshua.

McKean kept his unbeaten record intact with a dominant sixth round TKO win over Don Haynesworth, a fighter who has lost his last five fights, Lonergan said.

But put him in the ring with Huni or Goodall, and he “would get knocked the f–k out”, Lonergan concluded.

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