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Sam Goodman eyes December return, refuses to have his career dictated by others

Sam 'The Ghost' Goodman. Photo credit: Zain Mohammed/No Limit Boxing

The immediate future of the career of super bantamweight contender Sam ‘The Ghost’ Goodman 16-0 (7) rests on the result of the 122-pound unification bout between WBC and WBO champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 25-0 (22) and WBA and IBF counterpart Marlon ‘Nightmare’ Tapales 37-3 (19).

Japanese superstar Inoue, 30, will get the home ground advantage against Filipino southpaw Tapales, 31, when they fight at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on Boxing Day.

Goodman is the number one contender to both Inoue’s WBO belt and Tapales’ IBF strap. The 25-year-old Australian fully expects the exceptional Inoue to win and says he will happily face the former undisputed bantamweight champion or fight for a vacant world title.

“Inoue definitely unifies,” Goodman told Fox Sports Australia. “But whatever he does after that, who knows? We’ll have to wait and see.

“Every day I’m hearing a new whisper – he will vacate straight away, he defends once, defends twice… it’s changing all the time.

“Personally, I think he has that December fight, unifies and moves on.

“The money fights in the higher divisions are probably what he’s looking for at this stage of his career.

“But I’m not worried about any of that. And I won’t be waiting long.

“I want to stay active. Stay busy.

“That way when my world title shot does come I’ll be ready. I’m not going to have my career dictated by others.”

Goodman added that while Inoue is rightly regarded as one of the best boxers pound-for-pound in the world, every fighter loses eventually.

“He’s obviously a great fighter but every man is beatable,” Goodman said. “And us Aussies, we’ve pulled off plenty of upsets in our time.

“Right now, I’ve got no idea what Inoue does. And really, that’s on him.

“I’m only worried about myself and being ready when my shot gets called.

“And it’s not just Inoue I’m ready for.

“When my name gets called for that title shot, I’m taking it. And that should come early next year.

“It’s why I’m staying busy and continuing to take hard fights, because it puts me in the best spot to win the world titles when those opportunities eventually do come.

“That’s why we’re doing this. That’s it.”

Staying busy has been a calling card in Goodman’s career. He has boxed three times a year every year since turning pro with the exception of 2020 when he fought just once in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year he has claimed the scalps of former IBF champion TJ Doheny, then-undefeated contender Ra’eese Aleem and former world title challenger Miguel Flores, all on points.

All three of those fights took place as main support bouts for reigning WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu, but with Goodman’s star so clearly on the rise the time has come for his promoter No Limit to allow him to headline his own card.

That will happen in Sydney in December.

“This is something I’ve thought about for a long time,” Goodman said.

“And while I wouldn’t say I’m proud – because I always knew I would do it – the fact I’m headlining is reassuring as it confirms where I’m at.

“Now I just have to keep things going, keep building towards that world title shot.”