How COVID jab derailed Huni’s fight preparation

By Tim Elbra and George Vlotis

Australian heavyweight champion Justis Huni says he’s reconsidering receiving his mandatory second COVID-19 jab before his fight with Paul Gallen after suffering serious side effects from his first vaccination.

So concerned was Huni when he had a “delayed reaction” to his first shot that he turned around at Brisbane airport and refused to board a flight to Sydney for a scheduled press conference.

“I had a bit of a dead arm after the shot, and then came down with a bit of a head cold which knocked me about,” Huni told Wide World of Sports.

“But we got it under control as fast as we could. I pretty much took what I needed to get well as fast as I could. Fortunately, we got rid of the sickness.

It was a huge spanner in the works for Huni’s preparation as he gears up to fight heavyweight contender Christian Tsoye on Wednesday and then Gallen just three weeks later.

“He was a bit sore under the armpit and lat area. That was 24 hours after the shot. Then four days later he had flu-type symptoms,” Huni’s father and trainer, Rocky, told Wide World of Sports.

“Pretty much we couldn’t get sparring in. Him having the shot and then not being able to do the rounds, I was a bit worried he was going to go in the ring underdone.”

Huni is part of Australia’s Olympic boxing team heading to Tokyo in July, and must get two jabs before boarding the plane bound for Japan.

But his promoter Dean Lonergan has revealed they’re reconsidering the timing of their second dose to avoid any further side effects that could impact Huni ahead of his June 16 clash with Gallen.

“He’s scheduled to have his second on June 1 but we’re going to brush that,” Lonergan told Wide World of Sports.

“We think he had a delayed reaction. He was due to fly down here for a press conference from Brisbane to Sydney. He didn’t get on the plane because his nose was running, he was sneezing and everything. But he got himself right pretty quickly.”

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