Justis Huni has completed the first stage of his double-act, defeating Christian Tsoye by unanimous decision, and will await a showdown with Paul Gallen in three weeks.
It was largely one-way traffic at Sydney’s ICC as Huni moved away with a comfortable 99-91 98-92 win in front of media and guests.
But for all his significant strikes, the Australian champion couldn’t drop Tsoye, ending his perfect knock-out record.
It takes Huni’s professional career 4-0 and he’ll look to make it 5-0 against Gallen in a matter of weeks before he embarks on his gold medal aspirations at Tokyo 2021.
For such a domineering figure, Huni’s speed was that of a far lighter man as he overwhelmed Tsoye with combination after combination.
Huni should have had the fight over by the fifth round but the resilience – and presumably iron jaw – of Tsoye was remarkable at times, copping some serious punishment but refusing to shatter as he continued to march forward on the champ.
Tsoye struggled to break inside the reach of Huni for much of the fight, and that would ultimately proved his downfall.
He made headway in the sixth when he found his hands on some combinations that caught Huni retreating, tagging the champion with a couple of straights, but they were ultimately few and far between.
A few traps on the ropes will have rival heavyweights taking away some pointers from Tsoye’s display, as he managed to catch Huni on the ropes on more than one occasion. But a considerable drop in pace during key moments cruelled the Cameroon-born Aussie.
Tonight’s win marks Huni’s first step toward completing his ambitious pre-Olympic sweep, with a fight against Paul Gallen standing between him and his gold medal aspirations.
The unlikely pair will touch gloves in three weeks in Sydney and it’ll be up to the NRL great to take it to his much younger rival.
“It’s showtime. Let’s get it on,” Huni darted to Gallen ring-side.