Aussie boxer Justis Huni a step closer to heavyweight title after big win in Mexico

Justis Huni left no doubt he's worthy of a crack at the heavyweight crown.

Justis Huni left no doubt he's worthy of a crack at the heavyweight crown. Photo: AAP

Influential promoter Eddie Hearn believes Justis Huni is only “three or four fights’ away from a world-title shot after the undefeated Australian heavyweight made a triumphant international debut in Mexico.

In his first bout in almost a year, Huni claimed the WBA international title with a unanimous points win over well-credentialed, big-punching American Andrew ‘The Beast’ Tabiti on Sunday.

Huni’s critics will again point out his inability to produce a definitive finish over an opponent who stepped up from the cruiserweight division.

But Huni’s class was once more evident, with one of the judges in Cancun giving all 10 rounds to the 24-year-old as he improved his record to 8-0, with four of those wins coming via knockout.

“It was a different style to what I’m used to but it was good to get the ring-rust out,” Huni said, having only fought twice since June 2021 because of hand and ankle injuries, and after being floored by two bouts of COVID-19.

“I’m just happy that I got the ‘W’ and I’m on to the next one.

“I’ve just got to stay busy and continue my winning spree. Keep working and work my way up to the top.”

Tabiti (20-2, 16 KOs) trains out of the famed Mayweather gym in Las Vegas and counts former heavyweight world champ Anthony Joshua among his sparring partners.

Showcase of skills

But he was no match for Huni, who delivered on his intention to showcase his skills to the boxing world.

The Queenslander had Tabiti on the back foot throughout and peppered the American with a beautiful mixture of combinations, right hooks, uppercuts and body shots.

Despite not putting Tabiti down, the result was never in doubt. One judge awarded Huni the high-tempo contest 100-90 and the other two 98-92.

The winner certainly impressed Hearn, who signed Huni to a multi-year deal with Matchroom Boxing in February.

“Justis Huni will be a real force in the heavyweight division,” Hearn said on Sunday.

‘Good to go in December’

“Huni is already top 15 in the world. He wants a shot at the world heavyweight title.

“He’s three or four fights away from that but you’re talking about a special kid in Justis Huni.”

Huni, who enjoyed one of the most exciting amateur careers in Australian boxing history before having his Tokyo Olympics dream shattered by a broken hand, says he wants another fight “as soon as possible”.

“I’ll be good to go in December,” he said.

“I’m going to stay active now, stay in the gym. So I’m ready to go.”


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