Aussie in talks for Zhan Kossobutskiy showdown, heavyweight boxing, latest news

Australian heavyweight star Justis Huni looks set to be catapulted into a showdown with the division’s most terrifyingly consistent ‘KO King’ – with his team opening discussions with vicious Khazakh finisher Zhan Kossobutskiy.

Despite going undefeated in just six professional appearances, 23-year-old Huni will attempt a huge step up in class should he secure a convincing win over tough New Zealand puncher Kiki Leutele in Brisbane this Friday night.

While the breakout Queenslander is refusing to look past his latest opponent, Fox Sports Australia can reveal the fighter’s management team is already in discussions with at least four top 15 fighters for a December 16 blockbuster in Australia.

And the biggest name on that hit list is Kossobutskiy – a devastating Khazakh puncher who is undefeated in 18 fights, with all but one of his wins coming via KO.

Ranked inside the top 10 of both the WBC and WBA, his vicious 94 per cent KO rate is quickly earning him a spectacular list of highlight reel YouTube clips.

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Justis Huni and Kiki Leutele face off. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

So powerful is the heavy-handed southpaw, he is rumored to have kayoed world champions in sparring and has also been compared to superstar countryman Gennady Golovkin,

Other fighters being considered by Team Huni include undefeated German Agit Kabayel (22-0), who is ranked No.7 with the IBF, Chinese fighter Zhang Zhilei and Nigerian Efe Ajagba – who holds the record for fastest finish in boxing history.

That result came in 2018, when Ajagba’s opponent was disqualified for leaving the ring one second after the opening bell.

Another in the mix is ​​Latvian beast Mairis Briedis, who broke the jaw of Australia’s Jai Opetaia during their incredible IBF cruiserweight world title fight in July.

But with a Briedis fight slated to take place early next year, Team Huni is looking to first bring another big name Down Under shortly before Christmas.

Speaking with Fox Sports Australia this week, Huni’s father and trainer Rocki confirmed Kossobutskiy — who himself fights in Germany this weekend — is in discussions to be their next opponent.

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“Which would be a huge step up,” he said. “But we know Justis has the goods.”

Promoter Dean Lonergan also revealed he has been “scoring the globe” to get a top-ranked opponent for one of Australian sport’s most exciting, and humble, young athletes.

The promoter is aiming to have Huni fight four times over the next six months as part of his push towards a world heavyweight title.

Asked about a fight with Kossobutskiy, Lonergan said: “I’ve never seen a trainer, in Rocki, who is so bullish about his fighter’s ability.

“And over the past couple of years, I’ve learned to trust Rocki Huni 100 per cent.

“And if he says Justis is capable of that fight you can take it as read.

“Obviously this would be a huge step up.


“But it would be the next step for a fighter we know will go all the way.”

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Huni snr also stressed, however, that exactly who his son fights next will depend heavily on his performance in Friday night’s showdown against Leutele at Nissan Arena, Brisbane.

“Everything depends on this next fight,” the trainer said.

“Obviously there is a big difference between sparring and fighting. So I need to see that Justis has been learning and improving, I need to see him do what I know he can inside that ring.

“But if I see he still has a little bit of work to do, then we may go down that route where (someone like Kossobutskiy) is put off for another fight.

“I just really need to see the fight.”

Huni snr also explained his decision to travel Stateside with Justis to spend five weeks in Los Angeles, workin on his power at the Hollywood gym of Justin Fortune.

Justis Huni poses during an open training session at King George Square this week. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“Amateur boxing is all about scoring points,” he said of the arena in which his son first starred.

“But as a professional, it’s about knocking people out.

“So I needed someone to show Justis how to sit on his punches. Someone who has been in the game a long time.

“And it’s still a bit early — Justis probably needs three more camps before he gets his style down pat.

“But he’s getting there.

“So on Friday night, I just want him to go out there and get the win.

“I’m not worried about the stoppage.

“I know he has power.

“Everyone he’s sparred knows he has power. And once he starts knocking people out, it will just keep on rolling.”


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