Dinner with Mike Tyson is on the itinerary but Justis Huni is all business as he travels to the US to forge a George Kambosos-type path to boxing stardom.
Kambosos returned home to Sydney this week parading his IBF, WBO and WBA belts after his stunning world lightweight title victory over American Teofimo Lopez in New York.
Kambosos hadn’t fought in Australia since 2017 but said he blazed a trail for the likes of Huni.
The undefeated Australian heavyweight champion is willing to put in the same hard yards, moving his training to the US for the next month as he prepares for his February 4 fight with Joe Goodall in Brisbane.
Australia’s two best big men will square off in a high-stakes showdown with the winner set to be propelled into the top 15 of the IBF and WBO.
“I think George did it the right way,” Huni’s trainer father Rocki told AAP.
“He went over there and sparred and he did a lot of rounds with Manny Pacquaio.
“What he did for Australian boxing is awesome … George did an incredible job flying the Aussie flag.”
After running out of sparring partners in Queensland, Huni is looking to learn off the best in the US, leaving Brisbane on Friday.
He’ll train in LA for two weeks with Justin Fortune, who was Pacquaio’s strength and conditioning coach, with Huni hoping for tips from legendary trainer Freddie Roach, who got Kambosos on board as the Filipino’s sparring partner.
Connections are also lining up dinner with heavyweight legend Tyson before Huni moves on to Colorado for altitude training under world-renowned trainer Abel Sanchez, who’s had the likes of Gennady Golovkin in his stable.
Goodall, who won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is now based in Las Vegas, where the 29-year-old works with top trainer Kevin Barry.
Rocki said once his son had taken care of Goodall they would look to split their time between Australia and the US.
“If we didn’t have the border closures we would have probably been overseas already,” he said.
“Long term, we’re thinking we will probably end up spending half our time overseas sparring.
“We just can’t wait to get over there, get him working with with other other boxers that want to achieve the same thing.
“There’s a lot of good heavyweights that we are going to meet so hopefully they inspire us to to get to the top.”
The Goodall fight will be Huni’s first since his Olympic medal dream was left in tatters due to a hand injury that required surgery following his win over ex-NRL star Paul Gallen last June.
Rocki said Huni resumed sparring late last month with no lingering issues with the injury.