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NRL star turned boxer Paul Gallen sings praises of Justis Huni ahead of fight against Joe Goodall

NRL star-turned-boxer Paul Gallen claims he’s never been the same after he was ‘towelled up’ by Australian heavyweight hope Justis Huni

  • Gallen said Huni is a ‘special talent’ ahead of his fight against Joe Goodall  
  • Huni ‘towelled up’ Gallen last year in a 10-round slugfest 
  • Wednesday’s Goodall vs Huni bout is between two of Australia’s brightest talents

NRL-turned-boxer Paul Gallen is more resilient than most, but the former Shark said he’s never quite been the same after losing to heavyweight superstar Justis Huni in June of last year. 

Gallen, who has 12 wins from his 15-fight career, has a rare insight into both Huni and Joe Goodall ahead of their heavyweight fight in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

Huni handed Gallen his first ever professional boxing loss in an epic 10-round slugfest, and he also sparred with Goodall for 30-40 rounds before that fight.

Justis Huni lands a punch on Paul Gallen during their fight in June 2021

Justis Huni lands a punch on Paul Gallen during their fight in June 2021

He was full of praise for Huni, in the wake of Aussie boxing legend Jeff Fenech saying Huni ‘can’t punch’.  

‘Huni’s a special talent,’ Gallen told Fox Sports.

‘The speed that he possesses is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve sparred everyone in Australia and the speed that he has is insane for a heavyweight, it’s ridiculous.’

Huni is presented with his belt for defeating Gallen after a 10-round slugfest last year

Huni is presented with his belt for defeating Gallen after a 10-round slugfest last year

Gallen admitted he couldn’t bring himself to watch the fight as of yet ‘because it was me getting towelled up’, despite the star believing he was in career-best shape.

‘Goodall can say he would towel me up, but I was going well. We had really good sparring sessions and I went into Huni confident,’ he said.

‘It wasn’t just a money-making thing and he just towelled me up. Ever since that fight I can’t prepare the same, nor do I want to.’

Justis Huni at an open training session in Brisbane ahead of Wednesday night's fight

Justis Huni at an open training session in Brisbane ahead of Wednesday night’s fight

Paul Gallen thanks the crowd after his most recent fight, against Kris Terzievski, in May

Paul Gallen thanks the crowd after his most recent fight, against Kris Terzievski, in May

Common criticism of Huni’s boxing style centres around his supposed inability to land a knock-out blow, instead focusing on wearing his opponents down with his lightning-fast punches.

Many point to Goodall’s ‘harder’ punches as a reason why he can get the victory despite being a heavy underdog, and the fact that since spending time training in Las Vegas he has developed more refinement in his approach. 

Gallen, for his part, is just excited to see two of Australia’s most exciting boxing prospects in action, surmising the bout could go either way.

Aussies Justis Huni (left) and Joe Goodall (right) will face each other in Brisbane on Wednesday

Aussies Justis Huni (left) and Joe Goodall (right) will face each other in Brisbane on Wednesday

‘It’s probably one of the best heavyweight fights Australian boxing will have seen for a long time,’ he said. 

‘Joe Goodall punches harder and most of his fights he wins early and he’s knocked a fair few guys out in round one.

‘If he catches him early he’s got a good chance but if the fight goes beyond two-three rounds he’ll (Huni) get the job done, probably on points, unless he’s found some power,’ said Gallen.

Huni (right) and Paul Gallen (left) in the middle of the 2021 blockbuster bout

Huni (right) and Paul Gallen (left) in the middle of the 2021 blockbuster bout

Gallen said Huni (left) is a 'special' fighter with a 'stingy punch'

Gallen said Huni (left) is a ‘special’ fighter with a ‘stingy punch’

Coverage of the Huni vs Goodall card is due to get underway at 7pm (AEST) on Wednesday night, with the main fight expected to head into the ring at approximately 10pm. 


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