Polynesian culture has a longstanding reputation for producing exceptional warriors, and for Australian heavyweight star Justis Huni, "boxing is in his genes." Born in Logan and of Tongan and Samoan-Dutch descent, Huni emphasizes the importance of family in his life and his boxing journey.
Huni acknowledges his close ties to his Tongan family, highlighting their large and tightly-knit structure. He explains, "I’m closer with my Tongan side just cause they’ve got a bigger family... My dad has seven brothers, so it’s a very big family, and we are a very tight sporting family." The family frequently gathers to catch up and celebrate life events, especially after significant boxing matches.
At 193 cm tall and weighing 109 kg, the 24-year-old Huni began his boxing journey at the age of six. This was a standout choice as most children in Brisbane preferred rugby league. He shares his early experiences, "I started playing at South Sunnybank Rugby League Club, and at the same time, I was doing boxing training down at Logan PCYC, so I would do two days of footy training and then two days of boxing training."
Huni's father and boxing coach, Rocki Huni, originally moved to Australia from Tonga in 1975. He explains that boxing has always been a part of their family's history and that Justis was born into the sport. Their family's boxing tradition dates back to the 1940s, and Rocki Huni believes Justis has elevated it to another level. He fondly recalls Justis as a baby, always present at the gym and growing up in the boxing environment.
As a professional, Justis Huni boasts an undefeated record of 8-0 and is considered a future world champion, building on a successful amateur career. Huni looks forward to exploring his Polynesian heritage and culture more deeply, aiming to visit Tonga and Samoa to connect with his roots when circumstances permit.
This young Australian heavyweight champion not only represents a promising career in boxing but also embraces and celebrates his rich Polynesian heritage, where family and tradition play a significant role.