Justis Huni will miss the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo after aggravating an existing hand injury against Paul Gallen.
Huni re-injured his hand in the opening rounds of his TKO win over Gallen last Wednesday at Sydney’s ICC and will require surgery, dashing his Olympic dream before it had a chance to get off the ground.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I announce that my dream of representing Australia at the Olympics this year has been shattered,” Huni said via a statement on his official Facebook page.
“Both my hands had been injured during a sparring session leading up to the Tsoye Fight. I had to have injections into my thumb knowing that surgery would be required after the Olympics to fix it properly.
“In the Gallen fight, however, I aggravated both hands in the first round and my team sent me straight for an MRI after the fight which confirmed our worst fears, that I require an operation ASAP on both hands.
“I would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding with this as I am truly guttered and I know you will be too, but know that I will be back bigger and stronger. Take care and make sure you cheer on the rest of the Australian Olympic Boxing Team.”
Gallen had quipped before the fight that he intended to ruin Huni’s Olympic dreams when they clashed for the heavyweight title.
“They’re overlooking me, without a doubt. Their No.1 concern is the Olympics … well, I’m here to tell all of you, Justis, you included and your team: I’m here to do everything I can to make sure you don’t go to the Olympics,” Gallen said.
“That dream, since you’ve been seven years old, is gonna be f–ked. You’re lucky there’s a referee in there, I’m gonna do everything I can to break something in there. I’m gonna break something in there.”
While Gallen’s comments were nothing more than innocuous pre-fight bravado, it still begs the question why Huni’s camp would have accepted any risk so close to the upcoming games.
Still, Gallen had nothing but words of support for Huni as his Olympic dream was tragically dashed just weeks out from Tokyo 2021.
“I just feel sorry for him, I didn’t want this,” Gallen told Wide World of Sports.
“But I said it from the start, why take that Christian Tsoye fight three weeks before my fight and have two fights in six weeks before the Olympic Games. It was a huge risk, a massive risk.
Huni beats Gallen by 10th round TKO
“In a heavyweight fight, things can go wrong very quickly. They said it was all part of his preparation. But it was a big risk what they did. With big risk comes big reward, financially, and that’s what they were in it for, I don’t know. But they would have earned more money than they would have earned fighting anyone else.
“Overall, I just feel sorry for him. Would have loved to see him go over and win the gold medal.”
Huni suffered the initial ligament injury in the weeks leading up to his fight with Christian Tsoye, a whole three weeks before his fight with Gallen.
He aggravated the same injury in the opening rounds of his fight against Gallen and will be forced to undergo surgery.
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