The world saw what Australian boxing can bring to the table when Unified Lightweight Champion George Kambosos Jr. fought with Teofimo Lopez in a duel for all the jewels across 12 fast-paced rounds.
Kambosos Jr. secured the WBA, WBO, IBF and The Ring World Lightweight Titles fought in Brooklyn, New York.
The win rewrites history for Australian boxing, and could turn the page and introduce a new wave of boxers who one day could see themselves at the top of ranks in their respective divisions.
The Inner Sanctum looks at five of the most promising Australian boxers.
#1. Harry Garside – Lightweight
Already an Olympic bronze medallist, Garside was undeterred when he made his professional debut on night two of No Limit Boxing’s Xmas Bash.
Garside dominated the opening minutes of round one on his pro debut, and a flurry of punches in the final seconds of the round caused an extremely controversial stoppage from the referee.
Promptly he offered Fijian boxer, Sachin Mudaliar a rematch immediately in his post-fight press conference.
Garside claimed Australia’s first-ever Olympic boxing medal in almost three decades at Tokyo 2020, defeating John Ume, Jonas Jonas and Zakir Safiullin before being defeated by the eventual 2020 Olympic Champion Andy Cruz.
The 24-year-old’s use of the jab when inside against his opponents created problems for Mudaliar, and his quick flurry of punches impressed many fans.
Garside’s understanding of his boxing potential and ability could see him shoot to the top quickly, Australian boxing fans alike will certainly hope he can establish himself as one of the top Lightweight boxers in years to come.
#2. Justis Huni – Heavyweight
Having not been active since his win over Paul Gallen in June 2021, Huni missed out on his chance to go to Tokyo alongside Harry Garside and various other Australian boxers due to a hand injury sustained in the bout.
Huni packs severe power, with four of his five wins having come by way of knockout. He will look to continue his undefeated streak when challenging Joe Goodall in 2022.
Backed by his tall stature at 6’4″, Huni’s right hook combined with a great establishing jab causes headaches for each opponent he has faced so far.
Recently moving to the USA in preparation for his fight against Goodall, Huni has been paired with the former trainer of legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao. Being trained by such an incredible team will only boost his credibility and ability within the Heavyweight division.
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#3. Taylah Robertson – Bantamweight
Claiming a knock-out win in her professional debut in under 56 seconds by way of TKO, the 23-year old bantamweight boxer looks to be one of Australia’s most promising women.
Her quick combinations and ability to pin her opponent proved a deadly combo as Ranee Klinratree was waved off inside a minute. Roberston also claimed bronze in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, being defeated by Carly McNaul.
Roberston was recently defeated by ‘Shotgun’ Shannon O’Connell by split decision in October. Despite the loss, Roberston utilised her lighting fast right-hand punches to beat the guard of O’Connell all evening.
O’Connell, being the more experienced fighter, was able to clinch the win in the later rounds. Despite coming up short against Australia’s best female boxer, Robertson showed no gap whatsoever in her experience inside the ring.Embed from Getty Images
Robertson progressed to 4-1 in December as she comfortably defeated Kylie Fulmer by unanimous decision.
Throughout her display, Robertson was never in doubt, controlling the range all evening and being able to pick off Fulmer one punch at a time.
#4. Sam Goodman – Super bantamweight
Goodman moved to 10-0 on Wednesday evening, flooring former world title challenger Richie Mepranum inside six rounds.
Similar to Garside, Goodman was not fazed by an opportunity to burst into the spotlight, as he told The Inner Sanctum in the lead up to the fight.
“It’s a big step up, I’m aware of that, but I think I’m going to go in there and do an absolute demolition job on him.”
He certainly did just that, establishing his mid-range jab consistently throughout the fight and applying pressure which forced Mepranum to withstand an onslaught of punches. A short and mistimed jab saw the Filipino unable to respond to the referee’s 10 count.
The 23-year-old Australian claimed the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title and will look to build upon his dominating performance in 2022.
#5. Dana Coolwell – Super featherweight
The new Australian Super Featherweight Champion, Coolwell bounced back from his first professional loss after a split decision against Jacob Wyllie.
Coolwell looked calm in the opening rounds for a shot at the Australian title, making his opponent Miles Zalewski pay for missed shots.
Despite his relatively small stature as a fighter, Coolwell claimed Australia’s Super Featherweight title in style.
Two consecutive missed uppercuts from Zalewski paved the way for a powerful left hook which immediately knocked his opponent out in the 10th round.
The 22-year-old added his fifth KO to his professional resume and will look to challenge for more big fights and regional titles in 2022.
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