The camps of Justis Huni and Joe Goodall promised early fireworks in what has been billed as the biggest heavyweight fight to hit Australian shores for over a century.
The two former sparring partners will square off at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane on June 15, with Huni’s first bout since his 10-round TKO win over Paul Gallen last June. He holds a career record of 5-0 with four of those wins by 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 trained with the legendary Kiwi trainer Kevin Barry.
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“It’s a fight I’m seriously concerned about,” Lonergan said.
“Joe Goodall, if we had come back 12 months ago, I don’t think he would have been half the fighter he is today after 12 months with Kevin Barry.
“He went from the shores (of Australia) to Las Vegas as a mental and physical marshmallow. He came back and his body is chiseled like granite. him.
“Kevin is in my opinion a master trainer. What Kevin brings to the table is a will to win and he will do anything to win. He has trained guys in the past that I thought were mediocre fighters and turned them into animals absolutes and guys who would do what they had to do to win.
“Whether it’s elbowing, headbutting, low kicking, Kevin is a master of all the dark arts of boxing and it’s fair to say that’s what worries me about this fight, that Joe Goodall will come to the table with a bunch of stuff we’ve never seen before.
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“Kevin has alluded to it a few times before, talking about Joe being the junkyard dog that will keep coming and coming. I can tell you he’ll keep coming and he’ll come with dirty tricks, and that “It’s something the referee will definitely have to watch out for. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be dirty.”
While Goodall said Lonergan’s assessment of him was somewhat “stern”, Barry refused to take the bait from his former mate.
“They’re trying to get an emotional response out of us. Let me tell you this: our team is very, very focused…no comments from Dean Lonergan or anyone else are going to distract us from our planning and our goal,” he said. .
“And our goal is (on) June 15 for the Australian public and hopefully some people around the world to see what a quality fighter Joe Goodall is… he’s the most powerful Goodall has ever been.”
Goodall’s manager Steve Scanlan suggested the 29-year-old would take no more than six rounds to defeat Huni.
While Huni’s father Rocki also thought the fight wouldn’t go far, he suggested that it would be his son who would be victorious in the end.
Huni himself refused to predict an outcome, instead rocking fireworks inside the ring.
“Actions speak louder than words. I could say the same…I prefer to show everyone who is listening what I’m going to bring and what I’m going to do,” he said.
“He said he was coming knocking. I’m coming knocking…I think we’re both here to make a statement.”
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