Home Boxing News Justis Huni takes big risk against Paul Gallen a month out from...

Justis Huni takes big risk against Paul Gallen a month out from the Olympics

Justis Huni won the Australian heavyweight title on debut against Faiga Opelu

Australian heavyweight champion Justis Huni 4-0 (3) faces a risky assignment when he takes on former top-class rugby league player turned boxer Paul Gallen 11-0-1 (6) at the ICC Exhibition Centre in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday night.

The challenge for Huni is not only to get the win, but to come through the bout unscathed ahead of his bid for gold in the super heavyweight division at the Tokyo Olympics starting later next month.

“Winning a gold medal would be a lot bigger than winning against Gallen,” said Huni to WA Today.

“No one has done it before for Australia. I know that’s what the whole boxing team is looking to overcome going into this Olympics. We all want to bring home gold for our country.”

The 22-year-old Huni, who claimed gold at the Youth World Championships in 2016, says there is nothing Gallen brings to the table that worries him.

“Technically, he’s not much of a boxer,” Huni said. “He’s just got that strength and fitness behind him. If I go in there and do what I know I can do, it should be an easy fight.”

Under the guidance of his father and trainer Rocki, novice pro Huni has kept a busy schedule ahead of the Olympics. There will be just a three-week turnaround between his last fight against Christian Tsoye, which went the 10-round distance in Sydney.

Gallen wasn’t impressed by his next opponent’s performance.

“They can say they wanted to get in the rounds, but I was sitting ringside,” Gallen said. “I can tell you right now, I would have left there shitting myself, saying, ‘Oh my God’, if he had knocked him out in the first three or four rounds. That didn’t happen.

“Christian Tsoye is a tough man; I’m not taking anything from him. I’ve spoken to a couple of people who have sparred with him and they have both said, ‘He’s got a chin like you wouldn’t believe’.

“As far as saying he was trying to get rounds in, I don’t buy it. For the next fight, I would have left a lot more intimidated if he had stopped him in four or five rounds.”

At 39, Gallen has surprised a lot of people since taking up boxing seven years ago. In his last outing he ambushed former WBA ‘regular’ titleholder Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne 29-3 (25) in Wollongong in late April, stopping him at 1:55 of the opening round.

“Going to this fight, I’m prepared for anything,” Huni said. “I know what Gallen brings to the table. I’m prepared for that and if he brings something else, I’ll be ready for that as well.

“That’s what you learn the most in the amateurs, learning to adapt to different styles and adjust to it in a short amount of time. I’m looking forward to it.”