British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to weigh up Huni’s world title shot prospects in heavyweight clash against Joe Goodall in Brisbane
- Huni and Goodall will line-up in an all-Australian heavyweight bout tomorrow
- It is Australia’s biggest heavyweight fight since 1908 and Huni’s comeback bout
- The winner moves into the top 15 of three of the world’s four sanctioning bodies
- World renowned promoter Eddie Hearn will be an interested onlooker
British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn will be ringside to gauge the heavyweight world title prospects of Justis Huni in his boxing return.
Huni on Wednesday will break an almost year-long fighting drought against fellow undefeated Brisbane talent Joe Goodall in a bout regarded as the country’s biggest heavyweight duel since 1908.
The victor will move into the top 15 of three of the sport’s four sanctioning bodies and within a few fights of a world title shot.
Huni and Goodall face off during an open training session at King George Square in Brisbane
Hearn, the Matchroom Sport chairman and promoter of recently deposed heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, will be an interested observer at Nissan Arena.
He will also meet with Brisbane’s WBO world No.1-ranked super-lightweight Liam Paro and register the pulse of an Australian boxing scene that’s racing ahead of Tim Tszyu’s undisputed world title shot this year and George Kambosos Jr’s failed world title defence earlier this month.
Joshua relinquished the WBA, IBF and WBO to the classy Oleksandr Usyk in September, but has a rematch set for August in Saudi Arabia.
Huni, 23 and unbeaten in five professional fights, has often referenced Usyk when defending his style from critics who suggest he hasn’t the power to dominate the famous division.
Footwork, fast hands and ring craft are instead his weapons, forged in an amateur career that netted world championship bronze in 2019.
Goodall, 29, did the same two years earlier to become the first Australian to win a medal at the event in 26 years.
But he hasn’t had the same traction since turning professional, despite being unbeaten in eight fights.
A 12-month stint in Las Vegas under Frank Barry has revived Goodall though, going away ‘as a mental and physical marshmallow and come back with a body chiselled like granite’, according to Huni’s promoter Dean Lonergan.
Joe Cordina greets promoter Eddie Hearn after defeating Kenichi Ogawa in the International Boxing Federation world super featherweight title at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff
Barry’s reputation for turning ‘mediocre fighters into absolute animals’ also has Lonergan sweating.
But it’s meant a mouth-watering clash between two pure talents, touted as the best heavyweight tussle on Australia shores since Jack Johnson beat Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney in 1908 to become the first Black American heavyweight world champion.
‘It’s probably the best heavyweight fight in Australia in 100 years,’ Lonergan said.
‘It’s a fight that seriously concerns me.
‘Goodall wouldn’t be half the fighter he is now a year ago.’
Gallen and Justis Huni during their Termination Day Showdown bout in Sydney
Huni’s Olympic tilt was halted by a hand injury suffered in his last fight against Paul Gallen.
And he had planned to fight seven times this year, his repeated efforts to return denied by two bouts of COVID-19 and injuries to opponents and other key talent on his card.
A comprehensive victory, particularly in front of Hearn, could see the momentum he had in 2021 quickly return.
Lonergan won’t rush an international debut though, telling AAP possibly two more fights in Australia – potentially against current Australian champion Kris Terzievski or undefeated New Zealander Kiki Leutele – were in the works for this year.