May 11, 2021

Sports Legend

Paul Gallen vs Justis Huni, Dean Lonergan confirms date of fight

Paul Gallen has made the “stupid” decision to step into the ring with heavyweight phenomenon Justis Huni and will attempt to stave off an inevitable punch with dirty tactics.

That’s the verdict of fight promoter Dean Lonergan, who confirmed a mid-June date for the fight between the former undefeated NRL star and 22-year-old Olympic prospect.

In a sharp tirade, Lonergan saved Gallen’s boxing ability but paid tribute to him for putting himself in the position to command a showtime fight for the biggest paycheck of his career.

“June 16 has been locked down and accepted by both sides including the Main Event. We are just working through a very long contract and he will 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 that I’m going to feed to the beast that is Justis Huni. And that’s the dumbest decision he could have made to his personal health. “

The Kiwi promoter said the venue for the fight was not yet finalized, but it is understood that the ICC Convention Center in Sydney and the Qudos Bank Arena were mentioned along with Nissan Arena in Brisbane and the Gold Convention Center. Coast.

No matter where it takes place, Lonergan predicts a painful loss for Gallen.

“He catches up with Justis Huni at the worst time he could catch him. Justis is going out of the fans and still learning to sit on his punches,” Lonergan said.

“So instead of this being a merciful one or two round knockout, this is going to be a long drawn out four or five round fight. Paul Gallen is going to question the purpose of being in the ring with this guy.”

Negotiations peaked last week when Gallen told Lonergan to “sharpen his pencil” after saying the initial offer was not good enough. The promoter said the counter-offer would be the biggest payday ever for the former Sharks captain.

“After saying we sharpened our pencil and it couldn’t be sharper than it is,” Lonergan said.

“It’s so sharp we almost took the whole lead and Paul Gallen probably got the best deal of his boxing career, but in his whole life. From a financial standpoint, it’s a very good fight for him. “Do I ever wanna get in the ring after this fight” – that’s a very silly thing to do.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he made more money with this fight than in just one year of his football career or any other fight he’s had.

“I respect Gallen’s bravery, he has watermelon-sized balls, but he also has big doses of stupidity to go with it because it’s not a smart move for his health.”

Lonergan has proclaimed that the undefeated ex-striker will have to fight to survive against a “supreme athlete” like Huni.

“He will not come to fight or box, he will come to fight. He will cut off his head, he will hit Justis low. He will nudge,” Lonergan continued.

“It’ll be a baptism of fire from a dirty tactical standpoint for Justis. It’s not a 50/50 do-or-die fight, he’s stacked 70-30 in favor of Justis as he’s one. of the best amateur boxers this country has never seen.

“He’s the first guy in 120 years of Australian boxing to step out of the amateurs and into the pros and win a national title. That alone makes him special.”

Lonergan claims he was forced to fight in six weeks, with Huni also speeding up preparations for a shot to Olympic glory in late July.

He said he approached Gallen about a potential fight with Huni in the days following his victory over Lucas Browne. Browne had to give up $ 100,000 from his purse to Lonergan to fight Gallen – with the idea of ​​matching Browne with Huni. But the devastating nature of the victory left him with no choice but to provoke a Gallen-Huni fight.

“I left in awe of Gallen’s fight because I released Lucas Browne for that fight on the basis that we would have Justis fight him next,” Lonergan said.

“We thought we had to turn adversity into opportunity and we built a proposal and presented it to Paul last Thursday and now we just need to get the contract signed. We’re not quite there yet, but we hope that on June 16 we will fight.

“He thinks he can win – but he’s either the bravest man or the dumbest man in Australia. From a boxing standpoint, he’s just another bum I’ll feed my beast.”

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