Cancun, Mexico (October 25, 2023) - After nearly a year out of the ring, Australian top heavyweight prospect Justis Huni faces the toughest test of his professional career when he meets American Andrew Tabiti in Cancun on Oct. 28 in Mexico (Check local times).
In June last year, Huni defeated Joe Goodall via unanimous decision in a sometimes messy slugfest. Despite Huni's then-promoter Dean Lonergan labeling Goodall's performance as "disgusting" and calling him a "f***in’ idiot" for the tactics he employed that night, the pair have joined forces ahead of their respective fights. While Huni has been in Mexico for more than a week and Goodall has jetted off to California, the pair are normally based in Brisbane and have shared sparring rounds in recent months.
Huni expressed his enthusiasm for this unique collaboration, saying, "It’s been really good. He’s got a massive fight coming up as well. To be able to help each other out after being each other’s opponent, it’s awesome. That’s what it’s all about, pushing each other and getting Australia on the map, worldwide. He’s doing good things as well in top heavyweight boxing, he’s just come off a massive win against a very credible opponent. It was awesome to be able to help each other out."
Goodall's unexpected victory over the favored Stephen Shaw earned him a headline slot against Efe Ajagba, a fighter ranked in the Top 15 Heavyweights and is hoping to open up similar opportunities for himself by defeating Andrew Tabiti.
Tabiti, a former cruiserweight world title challenger, boasts a professional record of 20-1, blowing Huni's previous opponents out of the water when it comes to experience and credentials. Huni recognizes the challenge but believes his natural heavyweight attributes give him the upper hand, saying, "He’s done good things in the cruiserweight division, he’s sharp, he’s fast, but I’m fast as well for a heavyweight. The size and the power on my punches will definitely play a role throughout the fight. He’s the most experienced fighter I’ve fought. He’s fought some very credible guys in the cruiserweight division."
Huni and Tabiti were initially set to meet in New Orleans back in June, but an ankle injury forced Huni to withdraw from the bout. It's been a frustrating start to Huni's journey with Matchroom, the global boxing powerhouse led by Eddie Hearn. Nevertheless, the undefeated 24-year-old fighter remains inspired by the successes of his countrymen Jai Opetaia and Tim Tszyu, both of whom have made their mark in the boxing world.
"It’s awesome, especially in a time where I’m on my way up as well," said Huni. "It just gives you that extra bit of inspiration to just know in your head, it’s possible. We’re just as good if not better than these other guys around the world in the top tens and stuff. Jai’s last fight, that inspired me so I can imagine how many of the next generation coming up and how many other people that fight touched and inspired. I can’t wait for my turn to come and to be able to do the same thing."
Justis Huni's upcoming fight against Andrew Tabiti is set to be the semi-main event on a DAZN-streamed card headlined by WBC 130-pound titleholder O’Shaquie Foster’s inaugural defense against Eduardo Hernandez. This fight marks Huni's first under the Matchroom Boxing promotional banner and presents a significant opportunity for him to introduce himself to a broader audience and further his ambitions in top heavyweight boxing.
Huni, despite his relative lack of heavyweight knockout power, relies on his impressive skills and athleticism. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, he possesses the agility and shot selection of a middleweight while having the size and strength of a heavyweight. These attributes, he believes, will give him an advantage against Tabiti.
The 34-year-old Tabiti, who is a formidable boxer-puncher, moved up to the heavyweight division for his last bout, a fifth-round stoppage of previously undefeated James Wilson. Huni's strategy to secure victory involves consistent body work, focusing on early rounds to drain his opponent's stamina and open up opportunities later in the fight.
With a surge of inspiration from his fellow Australian boxers' successes and a powerful skill set, Justis Huni is eager to make his mark on the international stage. The bout against Andrew Tabiti could pave the way for Huni to ascend in the world of heavyweight boxing, a path he is determined to pursue with dedication and determination.
Get minute by minute updates on the Top Heavyweight Huni-Tabiti fight page.