Olympians revealed: Meeting Justis Huni
In the latest in a series introducing Queensland's potential Olympians to the community, we look at Sunnybank Hills heavyweight boxer Justis Huni.
Queensland heavyweight boxing sensation Justis Huni will have professional fights but still be eligible to fulfil his immediate No. 1 ambition - becoming an Olympian.
An overnight decision by the Australian Boxing Association will enable Huni to fight professionally this year - but also fight at the Olympics.
Many of Huni's opponents for an Olympic medal - including would No.1 Bakhodir Jalolov - fight professionally and ABA has fallen into line with overseas countries.
The decision will provide Huni with better preparation for his tilt at an Olympic medal, with Huni aiming for two or three pro bouts prior to the Games starting next July.
The Sunnybank Hills resident, who trains out of the Bethania Boxing Club in Logan, said despite the Olympic Games being delayed by 12 months during to the coronavirus crisis, nothing would lure him from his Olympic dream.
"It has been my dream since amateur boxing to be able to do that (become an Olympian),'' said Huni, who also played rugby league with Souths Sunnybank and Easts Tigers before concentrating on boxing.
"I have plenty of time (to box professional). It will be good to tick that (the Olympics) box off,'' the 21-year-old said.
Huni is one of the fortunate Australian athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games before the sporting world went into lockdown.
In March he claimed a silver medal at the Olympic trials in Jordan which qualified him for the Games to be staged July, 2021 - and then got back to Australia just in the nick of time before enforced isolation.
"We got back to Australia two days before all the self isolating was compulsory,'' the Sunnybank State High School past student said.
"It was good to get that (qualification) out of the way.''
Now he has qualified, Huni was aiming to become Australia's first Olympic medallist since Spike Cheney in 1988, and Australia's first ever boxing heavyweight gold medallist.
"Pretty much all athletes want to tick it off, to be the first gold medal Olympian. It is a big task and it is motivating to know you could be first,'' said Huni.
Huni is co-coached by his father Rocki and Mark Wilson from the Bethania Boxing Club.
Huni said both his dad and Wilson work well as a team.
"They click well,'' Huni said.
Originally published as Olympians revealed: Meeting Justis Huni