Justis Huni’s minders believe the 22-year-faded has taken the primary step towards becoming certainly one of Australia’s richest and most recognisable athletes at the side of his spectacular TKO of Paul Gallen.
Legal to his note, Huni shattered Gallen’s undefeated professional boxing file on Wednesday night with a 10-spherical masterclass to retain his Australian heavyweight title.
Gallen had vowed to break Huni’s jaw, face, or arm – “whatever it takes” – to damage the gold medal contender’s Tokyo Olympics dream.
Instead, Huni broke Gallen’s rib in the 2nd spherical before dominating the wounded but courageous rugby league great unless the referee finally stopped the combat in the 10th spherical.
“All the issues he said and stuff didn’t earn to me, and I confirmed that tonight. I fairly mighty came obtainable and made him bite his phrases,” Huni said.
Unheralded originate air boxing circles despite being the single man in additional than a century to win the Australian heavyweight belt on his professional debut, Huni strategically conventional the combat to showcase his talents to the country.
The plan labored a treat and now promoter Dean Lonergan believes Huni can be mighty, mighty extra than a household name in Australia if he can back up the victory with a medal in Tokyo.
“We want to reveal him into an Australian rock star,” Lonergan said.
“When he goes overseas and brings back a world title, it’ll be a scoot no longer considered before and he’ll be certainly one of the vital greatest sports celebrities-slash-celebrities considered in this country.”
With COVID-19 an obtrusive and ongoing barrier, Lonergan suspects it’ll be “two years minimum” before Huni is able to challenge superstars Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder for the heavyweight belts.
However it be only a matter of time, he believes.
“I develop no longer believe he has a ceiling,” Lonergan said.
“I was lucky ample to information the career of (Kiwi) Joseph Parker, who we took to the WBO world heavyweight title and we won that title in Auckland and defended it as soon as or twice.
“Then we ended up combating Anthony Joshua in front of 75,000 of us at Millennium Stadium.
“Justis Huni is extra than capable of doing that and the stakes have changed.
“When we fought that combat there was probably 10 to 15 million on the table for Joseph Parker at that stage.
“But with the heavyweight game the way it as at the 2nd, these numbers are doubling and trebling.
“So the area’s his oyster … I develop no longer believe anyone has any clue how ample right here goes to be, how titillating right here goes to be.”
Huni’s extra immediate heart of attention is on the Olympics, no longer making millions.
“Very relieved, obviously. I’m happy I came out of it fit and healthy so (I’m) eager to earn back to earn back to training and run over there, remark my country and achieve my country proud,” he said.
“Optimistically all my hard work and all my years of training, I can bring back the gold medal for Australia.”