Andrew Hunt and Joseph Goodall. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Heavyweight boxer Joseph Goodall switched from amateur to professional boxer less than two years ago, but is eyeing off the biggest fight of his career as part of the Battle of Bendigo undercard on August 31.

Goodall’s amateur career was littered with success as a silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and bronze medallist at the 2017 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Hamburg.

Born and raised in Bendigo for the first 11 years of his life, Goodall moved to Queensland where he pursued an array of sports.

“I originally wanted to be an AFL footy player. A couple of hip flexor injuries put me out for a year and I jumped from sport to sport,” Goodall said.

“Me and my mates decided to buy some gloves and muck around in the backyard and they joked that I need to stop punching them up and go to a gym,” he said.

The gym Goodall found was none other than Dundee’s Boxing and Fitness in Brisbane, the home of Jeff Horn and his trainer Glenn Rushton.

Goodall sparred with Horn a couple of years ago and was impressed with his movement.

“Jeff has phenomenal head movement, like no other boxer. He ducks at just the right time. I found him very, very hard to hit,” Goodall said.

His agility and speed as a heavyweight boxer is what Goodall believes sets him apart from his contemporaries, but behind his gentle demeanour is a boxer who has one thing in mind when he steps into the ring.

“Every fight I go into, I expect to knock the other person out. That’s what everyone likes to see. It’s the perfect result in boxing,” he said.

Joining Goodall on the undercard is New Zealand born Andrew Hunt, a welterweight boxer from Queensland.

Of Samoan heritage, Hunt’s first experience of boxing was in Samoa at the age of six.

“I got the biggest hiding of my life,” Hunt said.

“We ended up coming back to  Australia and found a gym near Logan and I had my first fight in Australia two years ago,” he said.

The 21-year-old cites his father and family as his biggest motivations to succeed in the brutal sport, with his excitement for a first televised bout in front of the biggest crowd of his career already getting his adrenaline running.

“I pretty much live and breath boxing. If you throw a football at me, I’ve got no idea,” he said.

The Battle of Bendigo is headlined by a bout between Jeff Horn and Michael Zerafa and takes place on Saturday, August 31 at Bendigo Stadium.

 

NICHOLAS NAKOS