Step into the squared circle for your boxing tips as Paul Gallen aims to chalk up another big scalp on his fight odyssey: emerging heavyweight superstar Justis Huni.
- Gallen – 11-0-1 (6 by KO/TKO)
- Huni – 4-0 (3 by KO/TKO)
- Gallen defeated Lucas Browne – Rd 1 KO – April 21, 2021
- Justis Huni defeated Christian Ndzie Tsoye – Rd 10 Unanimous Decision – May 26, 2021
Final thoughts: Rugby league legend Paul Gallen has stood up to each increasingly towering challenge in his professional boxing journey with aplomb. He’s faced and beaten icons of the local fight scene.
But the 39-year-old will take another monumental step up in class when he squares off against reigning Australian heavyweight champ Justis Huni. The vacant IBF Pan Pacific heavyweight title is also on the line.
Since his late-2019 draw with AFL hardman Barry Hall, Gallen survived some early bombs from UFC veteran Mark Hunt and claimed a victory by unanimous decision last December. Then, as a sizeable underdog, Gallen took less than two minutes to knock out decorated 42-year-old heavyweight Lucas Browne in April.
But this time around Gallen lines up opposite a gifted young boxer entering his prime and in peak physical condition.
Huni headed for world domination
The 22-year-old Huni has an enormous future. His amateur record includes a gold medal at the 2016 Youth World Championships and a bronze at the 2019 World Championships.
Huni claimed the Australian heavyweight title on pro debut last year, with Faiga Opelu’s corner throwing in the towel after their charge copped a seven-round battering. The referee stopped his second fight against Arsene Fosso in the fourth round after another relentless performance from Huni.
A first-round TKO of Jack Maris followed in April, before he toyed with Christian Ndzie Tsoye – a dogged, high-quality competitor – to earn a comprehensive 10-round unanimous decision. Ominously, Huni was so dominant he backed off a potential knockout on multiple occasions, instead focusing on getting time in the ring.
That’s four devastating wins from as many pro fights in the past eight months. He’s widely tipped to medal in the super heavyweight category at the Tokyo Olympics next month. Huni is the real deal – potentially Australia’s next great heavyweight.
The statuesque Queenslander boasts a five-inch height advantage over Gallen.
Has Gallen bitten off more than he can chew?
Gallen has silenced the many, many critics of his foray into boxing – particularly with his wins over Hunt and Browne. He’s tough, can take a punch and hit with power while also proving himself as technically proficient. Underestimating the long-serving State of Origin skipper has brought countless punters and experts undone.
But Gallen has more than met his match by going after a bout with Huni.
Gallen has made no bones about the fact he is after paydays above all else in his limited pro boxing window. He’ll get that on June 16 – as well as a thorough beating and the first loss of his career.