World-renowned boxing trainer Justin Fortune nearly dismissed Solomon Haumono for being ‘too soft’ and knows what it takes to be the best in the world.
Now Fortune has taken rising Australian heavyweight star Justis Huni under his wing and is already giving him the tools to rise to the top.
Australian heavyweight boxer Huni had the Los Angeles-based trainer in his corner last night as he continued his unbeaten run in the ring against New Zealand’s Kiki Leutele in Brisbane.
And the 23-year-old has been dubbed by Australia’s champion coach as one of the most exciting talents at heavyweight, after meeting the Queenslander at a US gym.
Justis Huni (R) fires a right punch at Kiki Leutele in their heavyweight bout on Friday night
Huni and her father Rocki flew out in December last year to spend five weeks with Fortune, who was Manny Pacquiao’s right-hand man for two decades.
The No. 1 Australian heavyweight cruised his way to victory over Leutele in a unanimous decision, which he credited to his recent stint in West Hollywood.
Fortune spent his time molding Huni into an “Iron Mike”-like boxer, where the sparring sessions got so intense the Aussie broke a few ribs.
Huni (R) with boxing and conditioning trainer Justin Fortune (L) before the Australian heavyweight’s seventh career fight on Friday
The 56-year-old strength and conditioning coach linked Huni to legendary trainer Freddy Roach, who worked with Miguel Cotto, James Toney and Mike Tyson.
Fortune recently spent two nights in hospital in Brisbane with heart problems, but left her hospital bed at the last minute to be around Huni.
According to Fortune, his heart was beating at 180 beats per minute, but he didn’t miss Huni’s fight.
“I feel like shit, I have this cough that I can’t shake until I get my heart redone, but that’s the way it is,” he told AAP.
‘I flew 15 hours to be here, I was at camp for weeks [in Los Angeles]no question that I miss it.
I was supposed to be here, in the ring, after our first real camp. Everything I see here now can have 10 times the impact [to improve Huni] in the formation.’
Fortune (L) poses with legendary boxer Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao at the famed Fortune Gym in Los Angeles
Huni says his power increased remarkably under the wing of Fortune, who helped Pacquiao win world titles in eight different weight classes.
The six-foot-four, 110kg powerhouse was preparing for a seven-fight campaign in 2022 but was hampered by injury when he broke his hand against rugby league hard hitter Paul Gallen in June of the year last.
Huni is believed to have suffered the same injury in last night’s triumph, where he won the IBF Pan Pacific Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation WBO Oriental titles.
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Source : BBN NEWS