17/04/2024

L to R: Luke Boyd, Justis Huni and Andrei Mikhailovich all has gums flapping after their June 15 performances - Photos: D and L Events/Facebook

Billed as the biggest Australian Heavyweight fight in over a century, Huni vs Goodall proved to be the coming out party for a young star on the rise.

Heading into D and L Event’s Huni vs Goodall card, the Australian boxing community could not second guess what was at stake.

Neither could main event combatants Justis Huni and Joe Goodall.

The winner would not only secure a host of regional belts and a World ranking, but would also cement themselves as the face of the nation’s Heavyweight future.

Blockbuster clash aside, a number of other fighters had interesting outings on the show’s undercard, resulting in a number of talking points.

Without further ado, it’s time to dissect these.

Huni again shows supreme talent

In all, Justis Huni’s (6-0, 4 KOs) unanimous decision win (100-90, 98-92, 98-93) over Joe Goodall (8-1-1, 7 KOs) might be more aptly described as a masterclass than a victory.

From counter punching, to defensive movements, the 23 year old showed that his incredible abilities in a number of areas might have gone to another level.

From the opening bell, Huni found his timing and began to land crisply. Each time Goodall took the slightest step forward, a two or three punch combination was fired off in return.

This trend, staggeringly, remained consistent across the entire ten rounds.

Even with Goodall employing a smothering inside game in the second half, Huni was still able to capitalise on the small openings that presented and score with short punch combinations.

Billed as the biggest Australian Heavyweight fight in over a century, the result is a significant step forward in Huni’s blossoming career.

Now the holder of the OPBF, IBF Pan Pacific, WBC Australasian and WBO Oriental titles, Huni can lay claim to being the clear cut torch bearer of Australia’s Heavyweight future. More important still, he enters the World rankings for the first time in his career.

After just six fights, there is no question that the sky’s the limit.

No stock lost for ‘Big Joe’

While the scorecards might show a run away win for Huni, they do not reflect the gallantry displayed by Joe Goodall.

Having worn a plethora of combinations in the opening four rounds, Goodall changed his approach thereafter. Of note, the jab was smartly used as a weapon to take the fight inside. Labelled “dirty” by promoter Dean Lonergan, the mauling tactic helped to remove the threat of his opponent’s mind-range game.

Although Huni managed to fight incredibly well on the back foot in response, Goodall’s in fight adjustments in the face of adversity should be applauded. It just so happens that on this night, he took on an artist in the middle of painting a masterpiece on the Brisbane canvas.

It would also be silly to write off a talented 29 year old, let alone one with supreme punching power. Goodall’s will to improve is clear for all to see.

Having moved to Las Vegas to train under Kevin Barry, he is certainly a much different fighter to the one that represented Australia in the 2014 Commonwealth games.

Expect ‘Big Joe’ to be back with a bang.

Mikhailovich continues finishing streak on Australian soil

Each time we see Andrei Mikhailovich (18-0, 11 KOs) in action on Australian shores, we learn more and more about the Russian born Kiwi.

So far, ‘The Renegade’ has displayed a pair of hands that are as fast as they are powerful. In his co-main event contest with the awkward Ernesto Espana (32-4-1, 27 KOs) however, he showed an inate finishing ability.

After a two round feeling out period, Mikhailovich began to find his range in the third. This set the foundation for the heavy punches that broke the dam wall soon after.

With his Venezeulan counterpart wobbling against the ropes, the 24 year old uncorked a series of thunderous right hands that found their mark, sending Espana to the canvas and ending the fight.

The most striking element of the knockout though, is the manner with which it occured. Mikhailovich flicked a switch, going from heavy-hitter to calculated hunter. As soon as he sensed that Espana was wounded, he pounced within a split second.

The win marks a fifth stoppage in a row for Mikhailovich, who has made a name for wrecking havoc each time he crosses the Tasman to compete.

Should he be granted his wish to fight Michael Zerafa (30-4-1, 19 KOs), given the World title bid of ‘The Pretty Boy’ falls through, fans would be treated to a sensational Middleweight affair.

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Banging Boyd bounces back after butt to bonce

When 2008 Olympian Luke Boyd (10-0, 10 KOs) hit the canvas in the opening round of his Super Bantamweight bout with Fijian Shamal Ram Anuj (9-2, 7 KOs), many were left unsurprised.

The headbutt he received might have been enough to end things on another night.

On the surface, the clash of heads appeared to be the result of the orthodox vs southpaw match up. Sensing a different state of affairs, Boyd’s trainer Angelo Hyder had other thoughts.

“You’re an Olympian, you’re boxing like a drunk. Attack the body,” Hyder implored.

Boyd did just that, not just heeding the words of his corner, but following them to the letter of the law.

In subsequent rounds, it seemed that the Beijing representative exclusively threw right rips to the body of Anuj. Despite the lowered right hand leaving the an opening to a straight left counter, Boyd stuck to his guns on the way to a fourth round TKO win.

For his troubles, the 35 year old also picked up the WBA Oceania title, a regional belt that might be enough to entice emerging star Sam Goodman (11-0, 6 KOs) into a clash of the undefeated.

If not, a meeting with Australian champion Erik Sokolov (4-0, 2 KOs) would also make sense from a matchmaking perspective.

Regardless of who is next, action is sitll guaranteed any time Boyd enters the squared circle.

Gipp grits teeth to pass tough test

In the past year, a lot of hype has surrounded 23 year old Jack Gipp (6-0, 3 KOs).

The Marcos Amado trained prospect has shown steady improvement to his clear talent since debuting in 2020. As a result, many were then left excited about seeing him take a step up in competition, wondering how he would fare against an opponent of similar skill.

The answer – pretty well on the whole. While he did not dominate in the same fashion as he has in past encounters, Gipp proved that he can handle adversity in the ring.

The Super Middleweight was forced to make a response in his majority decision victory (57-57, 58-56 x 2) over crafty New Zealander Francis Waitai (5-1).

To the naked eye, it appeared Gipp had wrapped up the first three rounds on the cards, largely based on more lands from his combination punching.

Not to be deterred, Waitai marched forward in the final nine minutes, finding a home for his southpaw straight behind a snapping jab.

With everything to fight for, the Victorian had no choice but to fight back and sway the momentum of the close rounds in his favour.

Although a case could be made for a Waitai victory on the cards, Gipp proved his mettle in the face of fire.

Now two from two in 2022, the man known as ‘Golden’ will look to continue to progress his career, learning more about himself as a fighter in future contests.

For all of the results from D and L Events’ Huni vs Goodall card, click here.

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