Home Boxing News Justis Huni punches Paul Gallen from pillar to post to retain Australian...

Justis Huni punches Paul Gallen from pillar to post to retain Australian heavyweight crown

Justis Huni knocked out Paul Gallen in the 10th. Photo credit: News Corp Australia

Australian heavyweight champion Justis ‘JPH’ Huni 5-0 (4) successfully defending his national crown for the third time with a 10th round knockout of previously undefeated Paul Gallen 11-1-1 (6) at the ICC Exhibition Centre in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday night.

The 22-year-old Queenslander was simply too sharp and too skilful for Gallen, 39, who was coming off the biggest win of his career with his first-round knockout of former WBA ‘regular’ titleholder Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne 29-3 (25) in April.

As expected, Gallen tried to make it a brawl early on but Huni was largely able to sidestep his attacks and pick him off coming in. Huni rocked Gallen in the third round and by the fourth he was in total control. With each passing stanza the beating got worse for Gallen, who showed a tremendous set of whiskers to remain on his feet under the relentless onslaught.

Huni was able to land every shot in the book against Gallen – hooks, uppercuts, body rips and overhand rights. Gallen was stunned in the fifth and visibly hurt several times after that. Eventually, something had to give.

A left hook, right cross sent Gallen down in the 10th and final round. Referee John Cauchi mercifully stepped in to stop the carnage, waving off the bout at the 1:18 mark with Huni leading 89-82 on all three judges’ scorecards.

“A big shout out to Gal. He’s an awesome competitor very tough very strong,” Huni said post-fight.

“Thank you to him for putting up an awesome challenge. He’s definitely built different. You’re a legend mate. He made it tricky for me in the build up with his words but we don’t let that get to us. We come here and we do what we need to do.”

The body shots were a particularly debilitating weapon for Huni, who throws as well downstairs as many welterweights.

“I did hear him grunting when I was hitting the body,” Huni admitted. “But he’s a tough competitor, he didn’t show it at all so props to him.”

Super heavyweight Huni will now head to Tokyo for the Olympic Games in his bid to become Australia’s first medallist since light welterweight Grahame ‘Spike’ Cheney claimed silver in Seoul, South Korea in 1988.

After the fight former rugby league star Gallen claimed he suffered a broken rib in the second round and said it hampered his performance.

“I want to win. I’m as competitive person there is. By the sixth or seventh round I knew I wasn’t going to win it I just wanted to finish it,” the ex-Cronulla Sharks captain said.

“While he knocked me down fair and square I thought the referee stopped it early, but I was never going to win the fight.

“I think he broke me rib in about the second round. I just couldn’t get off every time I moved it kept clicking.

“He was too fast and probably punched a little bit harder than I thought he was going to punch as well. I just wanted to get through the fight but he was too good tonight. I wish him the best… I hope he wins the gold medal.”

Gallen refused to rule out the prospect of a rematch despite the drubbing.

“I’m not against it,” he said. “I think I had a really good preparation. It was a short one but I got fit the fittest I’ve ever been going into this fight.”