World-renowned boxing promoter Eddie Hearn believes Justis Huni’s footwork could let him down as he continues to make his transition from an amateur to a professional.
Huni (5-0) faces Joe Goodall (8-0-1) in the biggest fight of his professional career, and while Hearn is impressed with the 23-year-old’s work at the amateur level, he warned that the professional heavyweight division is a different kettle of fish.
“It’s very difficult. You’ve got to hold your feet more. You’ve got to punch harder. You’re always under pressure to entertain,” he told Wide World of Sports.
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“It’s very difficult to say that to a fighter when they’re not losing a round. It’s about bums on seats.
“Huni moves a lot on his feet, probably too much for a heavyweight, in my opinion, and sometimes probably doesn’t set his feet like he needs to, but that transition will come as a professional.”
According to Hearn, the match-up against Goodall, who has won six of his nine previous fights in a first round stoppage, will reveal a lot about the man who has been touted as the future star of Australian boxing.
“I know Justis Huni from the amateurs and he’s a talent, but I’ve got a sneaky feeling for Goodall in this fight, because I feel this is his world title fight,” he said.
“Kevin Barry’s a very good trainer. I saw him on the scales, he looks in really good shape.
“We’re going to find out about Huni in this fight, because how good is he? How tough is he with small gloves on? He’s a very good talent, but I’ve just got a sneaky feeling for Goodall in this fight.”
As for the winner of Huni-Goodall, another Australian could be on the horizon, according to Hearn.
“The winner of tonight is a good fight against Dempsey McKean,” he said.
“You’ve got Lucas Browne coming back somehow, I’m trying to make him against Dempsey McKean. Dempsey all of a sudden is 20-0 and top-15 in the governing bodies, so he’s ready to go in big fights.
“You need talent in the heavyweight division to grow the sport, so it’s great that you’ve got Justis and Dempsey and Goodall. If you can keep them fighting each other, even better.”
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