Sun. Dec 5th, 2021

Australian heavyweight champion Justis Huni is set to return to the ring in February, where he will face undefeated Australian Joseph Goodall.

Huni, whose Olympic dream was ruined by a hand injury, has not fought since beating former NRL greats Paul Gallen in the 10th round of their match in June.

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The hand injury occurred in sparring before his match against Christian Tsoye three weeks before the Gallen match, which cost Huni the Olympic dream.

While potentially considering going to the Commonwealth Games and perhaps the Paris Olympics in 2024, he ultimately decided to go at full speed in his professional career.

Huni ready for title race | 01:16

Huni and promoter Dean Lonergan have teased up to seven fights in 2022, and the first will be a clash against the highly respected Australian heavyweight Goodall.

The pair are set to win on February 4, 2022 at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Center, and the winner is set to move into the top 15 on both the WBO and IBF world rankings.

The 29-year-old Goodall holds a record of 7-0-1 with six KOs, five of which happened in the first round, while walking the distance twice with Tsoye, claiming a win on the undercard of Jeff Horn’s match against Anthony Mundine and a draw in the rematch nine months later.

Joseph Goodall is to receive Justis Huni.  Photo: Annette Dew
Joseph Goodall is to receive Justis Huni. Photo: Annette DewSource: News Corp Australia

He also started training with the 1984 lightweight silver medalist – and the first New Zealander in 56 years to win an Olympic boxing medal – Kevin Barry, who works from Las Vegas.

Huni and Goodall have incredible amateur pedigrees as both took a World Cup bronze before becoming pro.

And although Huni is a generation younger than Goodall, the 29-year-old said he had sparred “hundreds of laps”.

As for who gets to the top, Goodall replied, “What happens in the gym stays in the gym. It’s for the boxing stories for the books after our careers.”

There are plenty of bets on the outcome of the match as it will put at least one of the fighters on the world stage.

Fighters in the top 15 on the rankings can challenge for the world championship and would at least give bigger matches.

“This is a big fight for my career to move me up in the top 15 with two of the sanctioning bodies,” Huni said. “I want to be 100 percent ready for this as it can take me all the way. This is the first step on the road to a world championship. Definitely a great match and I can not wait for it. “

Huni is ready for his first match since Paul Gallen. Photo: Richard DobsonSource: News Corp Australia

As for Huni, he said he would take anyone who wanted to get in the ring with him.

“I’m just happy to be able to get in the ring and be able to do what I love to do, which is boxing,” he said. “Whatever opportunity I have to get into the ring, I will take it.”

Justis’ father and coach Rocki said while he was not worried about the match but that it stands in the way of the Australian heavyweight champion from going to the next level.

And he said the pair were not looking for easy matches to fill out the resume.

“I do not believe we can go out internationally when we have not beaten the best in Australia,” Rocki said. “That’s our whole goal.”

“We want this fight, we do not want to fight any donkeys, we want decent credible fighters. We have great respect for Joe and Kevin Barry, but we did not take this fight because we thought we would lose. “We are more than sure that we will win.”

Goodall has trained out of Vegas and has sparred with the highly respected American heavyweight Jared Anderson.

He also got to see WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury up close when the Gyspy King trained from Barry’s gym. That was because his 26-year-old son Taylor was sitting in Fury’s corner.

“We had Tyson in our gym, he made his preparations for the Wilder fight in the gym, and for me it was not only great for my son, but great for Joseph to be in the gym with Tyson and see Tyson and the way he trains and talks. with him, ”Barry said.

“It was a big confidence booster for Joe. It’s very important for people in the young stages of their careers that you put good people around you, and Tyson was a big influence for Joe.”

Joseph Goodall fought on the Horn-Mundine map at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: AAP Image / Darren EnglandSource: AAP

Goodall added: “It was great to see him spar, two days I saw him spar 10-12 rounds. It’s great to sit there and admire a great artist at work, such a great fight.

“He’s Tyson Fury, he’s Gyspy King, he’s going to go down in history as one of the greats, so what do you get out of it?”

Goodall added that there was a lot at stake ahead of the match and he was willing to take big risks to move up the ranks.

“This is a massive fight,” Goodall said. “There are three belts on the line, I put my WBC belt up on the line, it’s massive. It’s not only a top 15 ranking for him, it’s also for me, there are three belts on the line that are three roads there to a road to the world championship.

“You can not get the reward without risks, so it’s a big risk, big reward. It’s the boxing industry.”

Barry added that he would dissect everything out there on Huni to give Goodall the best chance of winning.

“If Joseph Goodall can not beat Justis Huni, it’s because he’s not good enough, it will not be because he is not prepared,” Barry said.

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