Huni power play pushes Gallen over the edge

Justis Huni has only won three fights in his young career and is already being mismanaged by “f—ing idiots”.

That’s the blunt bottom line from rival Paul Gallen who says the 22-year-old Australian heavyweight champion needs to “crawl before he can walk” when it comes to commanding lucrative pay-days.

It all kicked off yesterday when a sponsorship stand-off over which gloves would be worn on fight night threatened to derail the June 16 clash, with Gallen refusing to give in to demands to wear horsehair Adidas gloves – with an agreement already in place to wear Everlast foam-padded gloves – unless he’s appropriately compensated.

Adidas is willing to pay Huni $10,000 to wear their brand on fight night, but the young gun says he would happily wear Everlast if Gallen’s side is willing to cover the cost of the missed sponsorship.

But therein lies the problem for Gallen who was incensed at the audacity of the Huni camp’s demands. To date Huni has only won won three domestic fights, making the former NRL star the major draw for this month’s bout.

“This is the whole thing, they’re f—ing idiots. They’ve got to play the long game with this bloke Huni. They just think his shit don’t stink already,” Gallen told Wide World of Sports.

“I’ve been a professional athlete for over 20 years, and when I was first getting started doing promos, I did it for nothing. Going out to Channel Nine and doing it for nothing, going here and there for nothing. Then all of a sudden when you get a profile, you start getting paid for things.

“They think this bloke is the big dog already. You’ve got to crawl before you can walk. Mate, I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done it all.

“I’ve been around for a long time, I’ve had a whole lot against me at times, so this does absolutely nothing to affect me. I just laugh at the fact that, as I said, this bloke has to pay his dues, play the long game. They think he’s going to be a superstar for the next 10 or 20 years. Mate!

“If Dean [Lonergan] is his manager or promoter or whatever he is, he should be telling him all this. Someone should be telling him, think about five or 10 years down the track when you’ve won a few titles if you think he’s really that good. That’s when you get your endorsements and people start paying to come here and there.

“Not when you’ve won three fights and no one knows who you are.”

Gallen told Wide World of Sports that he was willing to oblige Huni’s gloves request, but blew up at suggestions by Lonergan that he had demanded $50,000 to switch over (Lonergan claims he later dropped his demand to $20,000).

“They offered me $5000 to change over gloves. I said, ‘What’s $5000 going to do for me?’. But I never asked for $50,000, no,” Gallen told Wide World of Sports.

“I’m the one bringing the eyeballs here. I’m the one fast-tracking your son’s career and making him known by years. So, for that, I’m going to get paid. That’s as simple as it is.

“The agreement was we were going to wear Everlast Powerlock gloves, that was always the agreement. Then Dean said, there’s been no assurance or anything in the way of gloves, and asked me if I would wear Adidas and they’d give me $5000.

“I said, no. I wear Everlast, I always have been with Everlast. I’m not going to risk my relationship with them for $5000.”

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