The bookmakers disagree but Paul Gallen is convinced Justis Huni can’t hurt him in their Australian heavyweight title showdown next month.
Much to Gallen’s relief, Huni confirmed the June 16 blockbuster with a unanimous points decision over the game but outclassed Christian Tsoye at the Sydney International Convention Centre on Wednesday night.
Had Huni been hurt or not retained his belt, Gallen’s million-dollar-plus pay day would have been down the gurgler.
Despite being a big underdog to beat the undefeated Huni, one of the gold medal favourites for the looming Tokyo Olympics, Gallen will pocket 85 per cent of earnings from the pay-per-view blockbuster.
“I am relieved. Thankfully, Justis pulled up fine and I’ve got three weeks now to prepare,” Gallen said after watching – and commentating on – Huni’s victory from ringside.
While left impressed with Huni’s speed and relentlessness, Gallen maintained the 22-year-old didn’t pack a powerful enough punch to stop him and said he’d go to bed even more confident that he’d win.
“He doesn’t have that one-punch knockout power,” said Gallen, unbeaten himself in his 12 professional fights and a last-up first-round stoppage winner over Australia’s only-ever world heavyweight champion Lucas Browne.
“He (Huni) landed flush shots and couldn’t knock him out. Without doubt, I saw things tonight that I can exploit. The pace I go will be a whole lot faster than what Christian went.
“I’ve got to get inside and fight. Christian didn’t make it dirty enough.
“If I get through the first five, six rounds, I know I can catch him and knock him out.”
Huni doubts that.
“Showtime, let’s get it on,” he said.
“It’s going to be a hell of a fight between me and Gallen – and I can’t wait.
“You don’t see a lot of people working the body like I do, so that’s what I’m going to bring on June 16 as well.
“Those body shots are going to slow you down.
“He said he’s going to bring a little bit more pressure – that just means he’s going to walk on to more punches.”