'Stupid decision': Promoter's savage swipe at 'dirty' Paul Gallen

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Seen here, Aussie heavyweight boxers Paul Gallen and Justis Huni.
Paul Gallen faces arguably his toughest task when he takes on exciting Aussie rising star Justis Huni in June. Pic: Getty

A leading boxing promoter has labelled Paul Gallen's fight against Justis Huni a "stupid decision" by the NRL great and insists he will resort to "dirty" tactics in an attempt to win.

Fight promoter Dean Lonergan took aim at the former rugby league star after confirming that the blockbuster all-Australian heavyweight clash would be taking place in mid-June.

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After extending his professional record to 3-0 with a first-round win over Jack Maris on the Gold Coast last month, Olympic Games hopeful Huni is set to fight Gallen on June 16.

A venue for the eye-catching bout is yet to be confirmed but Lonergan said he could only see the fight ending badly for the undefeated Gallen.

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"June 16 has been locked in and agreed by both sides including Main Event. We're just working our way through a contract that's very long and he'll have it in 1-2 days," Lonergan told Wide World of Sports.

"At the end of the day Gallen is nothing more than a circus fighting bum I'm going to be feeding to the beast that is Justis Huni. And this is the most stupid decision he could have made for his personal health."

Lonergan said finer details such as the fight purse still need to bye worked out but described the deal for Gallen as not just the "best deal of his boxing career but his entire life".

Gallen extended his unbeaten record (11-0-1) after destroying former WBA heavyweight world champion Lucas Browne inside the first round of their Wollongong bout last month.

Seen here, Paul Gallen punches Lucas Browne during their heavyweight showdown.
Paul Gallen KO'd Lucas Browne inside one round during their bout in Wollongong in April. Pic: Getty

However, Lonergan warned that he would be facing rising star Huni at the "worst possible time", with the boxer preparing for an assault on the Olympic Games in Tokyo and having just come out of the amateurs.

"So instead of this being a merciful one or two round KO, this is going to be a long drawn out beat-down over four or five rounds. Paul Gallen is going to question the sanity of getting in the ring with this guy," Lonergan added.

Lonergan says he expects some underhanded tactics from Gallen as the NRL great attempts to stop the powerful 22-year-old.

"He won't be coming to fight or box he'll be coming to brawl. He will headbutt he will hit Justis low. He will be elbowing," Lonergan continued.

"This will be a baptism of fire from a dirty tactics point of view for Justis. This is not a do-or-die 50/50 fight this is stacked 70-30 leaning in Justis' favour because he's one of the best amateur boxers this country has ever seen.

Justis Huni is pictured here wearing the Australian Olympic Games colours.
Justis Huni is part of Australia's boxing team for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Pic: Getty

"He's the first guy in 120 years in Australian boxing to come out of the amateurs and into the pros and win a national title. That alone makes him special."

What's also special is the fact that Huni's fight with the former NRL premiership winner comes just weeks before he flies to Tokyo for the Olympic Games.

However, the 22-year-old Huni is confident there's no risk it will undermine his Olympic dream.

"I think it's good for me. I need to get used to it anyway. They'll definitely be an opponent over in the Olympics that fights like Gallen, sits on my chest," he said.

"I'm going to need it and I'm going to need to get ready for it."

with AAP

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