Both Justis Huni and Joe Goodall’s camps have promised early fireworks in what has been billed as the biggest heavyweight fight on Australian shores in more than a century.
The two former sparring partners will go toe to toe at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena on June 15, with the fight Huni’s first since his 10-round TKO win over Paul Gallen last June. He holds a 5-0 career record with four of those wins coming via knockout.
While the 23-year-old is one of Australian boxing’s hottest young prospects, his promoter, Dean Lonergan, is fearful of Goodall (8-0-1, 7KOs), who has been training with legendary Kiwi trainer Kevin Barry.
READ MORE: Reaction to star’s ugly act baffles NRL world
READ MORE: Ferrari splutters, Red Bull pounces in Azerbaijan
READ MORE: Legend’s huge Kyrgios call as Wimbledon looms
“This is a fight that seriously concerns me,” Lonergan said.
“Joe Goodall, if we went back 12 months ago, I don’t think would’ve been half the fighter he is today after 12 months with Kevin Barry.
“He went away from the shores (of Australia) to Las Vegas as a mental and physical marshmallow. He’s come back and his body is chiselled like granite. I’ve got no doubt that the Kevin Barry DNA has been heavily ingrained in him.
“Kevin is in my opinion a master trainer. What Kevin brings to the table is a willingness to win and he will do anything to win. He’s trained guys in the past who I thought were mediocre fighters and turned them into absolute animals and guys who would do what they had to do to win.
“Whether it be elbowing, headbutting, low blows, Kevin is a master of all the dark arts of boxing and it’s fair to say this is what worries me in this fight, that Joe Goodall will come to the table with a whole lot of stuff that we’ve never seen before.
Huni speaks after house sprayed with bullets
“Kevin has already alluded to it on a number of occasions, talking about Joe being the junkyard dog who will keep coming and coming. I can tell you that he will keep coming and he will be coming with dirty tricks, and it’s something the referee will definitely have to be watching out for. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be dirty.”
While Goodall said Lonergan’s assessment of him was somewhat “harsh”, Barry refused to take the bait from his old mate.
“They’re trying to get an emotional response from us. Let me tell you this: our team is very, very focused … no comments from Dean Lonergan or anyone else will divert us from our planning and our goal,” he said .
“And our goal is (on) June 15th for the Australian public and hopefully some people around the world to see just what a quality fighter Joe Goodall is … this is the most powerful Goodall’s ever been.”
Goodall’s manager, Steve Scanlan, suggested the 29-year-old would not take more than six rounds to defeat Huni.
While Huni’s father, Rocki, also believed the fight would not go the distance, he suggested it would be his son standing victorious at the end of it.
Huni himself refused to predict a result, instead tipping fireworks inside the ring.
“Actions speak louder than words. I could say the same thing … I’d rather just show everyone who tunes in what I’m going to bring and what I’m going to do,” he said.
“He said he’s coming to bang. I’m coming to bang…I think we’re both out there to make a statement.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
The 20 most lucrative player contracts in sporting history
#Huni #warned #heavyweight #boxers #dark #arts