Justis Huni has threatened to walk away from his bout with Paul Gallen due to a dispute over gloves.
Gallen has refused to give into demands by the Huni camp to wear Adidas gloves for their clash in Sydney on June 16.
The two camps are at odds over a request from Team Huni to wear horsehair Adidas gloves for the fight as opposed to the Everlast gloves Gallen is accustomed to wearing. Horsehair gloves are considered a more brutal glove preferred by power punchers because the wrapped knuckles protrude from the glove more.
Gallen blasts ‘disrespectful’ Huni
Combat sport rules in NSW state both fighters must wear the same brand, style and quality of glove. Gallen has a deal with Everlast and usually wears the Everlast Powerlock, a foam padded glove. Boxing promoter Dean Lonergan claims Gallen requested $50,000 to switch over, then dropped his price to $20,000.
According to Rocki Huni, Adidas is willing to pay Huni $10,000 to wear their gloves but said his son would happily wear Everlast if Gallen’s side covers the cost of the sponsorship.
“Gallen’s getting 85 per cent of the pie,” Rocki Huni told Wide World of Sports.
“Every little bit helps us. He (Gallen) doesn’t want to move. He says money is not an issue. We don’t mind wearing those gloves but he just has to cover the cost of what the sponsors were going to give us.
“He’s getting enough already why does he want 20 grand? He’s got enough money. If he’s not willing to move we’ll just wait for the Olympics. We’ll have a fight after the Olympics and sort something else out.
“We’ve bent over a fair bit to give him this fight I know we’ve got a lot out of it as well. If he really wants to fight he’ll let us fight in those gloves.”
When contacted by Wide World of Sports, Gallen’s trainer Pete Mitrevski rejected any talk of switching over for the fight, declaring Gallen will take to the ring in the Everlast Powerlock. Mitrevski disputed claims by Huni and Lonergan that Adidas make horsehair gloves, while calling Lonergan “dirty”.
“We are fighting in Everlast. That’s it. I don’t care what they say. I don’t want to get into the split, that’s not what we do. But we’re the majority promoter of the show. We’re fighting in Everlast gloves and that’s the end of the story. We’re loyal to Everlast,” Mitrevski said.
“Dean Lonergan is playing games. They don’t know their left from their right. The only horsehair gloves are the Everlast MX, Cleto Reyes and one of the Grant Puncher’s gloves. Dean Lonergan doesn’t know boxing.”
Mitrevksi said the Huni camp already agreed to fight in Everlast and was stunned the Olympian’s team would even want to change to horsehair gloves, given Gallen is rated as more of a power puncher.
“Huni can’t punch, Gallen can. The puncher’s glove is more of an advantage for Gallen. This is how dumb he is. We’ve used Everlast Powerlock for Gallen’s entire career we are sticking with that.
“The gloves have already been ordered from America. We’ve even colour matched with the red that he (Huni) wears. Huni has never fought in horsehair gloves.
“Dean wants to be dirty about it and play games. Huni is the one with the suspect chin he’s the one who got knocked out in sparring.”
Speaking to Wide World of Sports, Lonergan said Gallen would switch over to Adidas but the money they are asking for is too “steep”.
“He told us he would do it for $20,000. It’s very steep. He started at 50 (thousand) I think at best, glove companies might put up five grand to wear their gloves,” Lonergan said.
“So basically what Paul is asking for, if there’s any money coming from a sponsorship he wants all the money plus a bit more.
“It’s typical Paul Gallen he’s incredibly transparent with what he does but I think asking $20,000 to wear a certain pair of gloves is over the top.”
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