Justin Huni does not enjoy the “strangeness” of facial expressions.
But the hours, days and months of pain, sweat and frustration are immediately passed.
“You look them deep in their eyes and take their souls,” Huni told Fospsports.com.au about dealing with New Zealand player Kiki Leutele ahead of their May 11 battle on the Gold Coast.
“That is how I feel when I have a problem.
“Without difficulty, when we close our eyes I just take my life.”
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Huni’s comment gives a new, fresh perspective on this once-shy boxer, who is growing up every day in and around the ring.
The rising Australian heavyweight has always known how to box. With quick feet and quick hands, Huni can dance around the ring.
But growing up confidently after a training camp with Justin Fortune in California, Huni now punches and quickly delivers his words with the same effect.
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“I thought I knew about boxing, but this guy taught me a lot and opened up my mind to me about wrestling,” said Huni.
“I produce more energy in my punches, sitting down (on my shoulders); I am well educated now.
“And with little tricks and tricks in the ring.”
Huni (5-0) had not looked at Lutele (7-1-2) before facing him on Wednesday.
He watched his only rivals lose to Demsey McKean who was ranked all over the world last year, where the Australian player won by a number of points.
Huni says he and McKean have “completely different styles”, but he is happy to have someone like his 193cm wrap-up frame.
“Most of my former opponents, with the exception of one, were all shorter. Fighting someone of the same height is a bonus for me, ”said Huni.
“Fighting the little ones is different. Hitting someone down, you never know what’s coming back. If your hands are down something can come back. I really enjoy fighting with someone my own age. ”
So why prepare Huni?
He states: “I am preparing for battle.
“It’s going to be a battle because I know you like to throw heavy hands.”
Leutele, who returned to Auckland on Friday, says he is confident he could shock the 22-year-old Australian player who has not entered the ring since hitting Paul Gallen in Sydney last June due to injury.
“I know I doubt I can win,” he told Foxsports.com.au.
“I would not take the war any other way. I know I can win.
“I told him I had come to win and I am confident I will defeat him.”
Huni is not shocked.
“Everyone who opposes one person says the same thing about what they are going to do to me, and ends up not doing it,” Huni said.
“For me he is just another player.
“I do not look at anyone, this enemy or the next, but I have heard it all before. Until they put me under that pressure and put me in that situation, I don’t take their words seriously because I’ve heard it all in my past fights. ”
Currently Huni is not using it as he prepares for the return of boxing.
“When I get in there, I think about all the training, all the pain I’ve been through and I’ll leave it there.”