Boxing hope Huni sweet on his pro chances

Adrian Warren
Justis Huni will fight professionally as he waits to represent Australia at the Olympics next year

Australia's hottest young boxing prospect Justis Huni is adding Mike Tyson-type aggression for some professional fights before he chases a historic Olympic gold medal next year.

Super-heavyweight Huni is expected to have his first pro bout in August and then a few more before he heads to the postponed Tokyo Games next year.

The 21-year-old Queenslander is one of the most exciting amateurs Australia has developed in recent times, considered a genuine chance of winning the country's first Olympic boxing gold medal.

With the Olympics pushed back a year, Huni felt turning professional was his best course for keeping busy in the meantime.

"There weren't many more, if any, international tournaments at the end of the year, so that's the reason why we have chosen to go professional and keep my development going," Huni told AAP.

"Have at least four to six pro fights just to keep active.

"I'm working on a few things like just being more aggressive, like Mike Tyson was back in his prime.

"In the amateurs, I'm more like a boxer-mover.

"We're just working on sitting down on my punches."

Huni's father and co-coach said his son was a skilled boxer and it was a case of developing his punching as he moved into the professional sphere.

"I can't wait to see what this new aggressive style will do to help him further his career," Rocki Huni told AAP.

The decision to allow professional boxers to qualify for the Games was made shortly before the 2016 Olympics.

Only three pros fought in Rio and none won a medal.

If Huni needs an example of someone who has successfully juggled amateur and professional commitments he doesn't have to look any further than his most recent opponent, Bakhodir Jalolov.

The Uzbeki won all six of his professional fights before returning to the amateur ranks to take the world super-heavyweight title in 2019.

Jalolov went on to win the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in March, outpointing world championship bronze medallist Huni in the final.

Huni is happy to have eight-round fights as a professional and doesn't envisage any issues switching back to three-round amateur contests.

"Most of the boys that I spar are professionals, so we always do long rounds," Huni said.

"When I have an international tournament coming up, the week that I'm leaving, I'd always cut down back to three rounds just to get used to it again.

"When I come back for the Olympics I will still be ready to go those fast three rounds at high intensity."

The coronavirus pandemic hasn't had a big impact on his training as he has equipment at home, where he spars with his brother Lopeti.