Justin Fortune has been hit by Lennox Lewis.
Held pads for Mike Tyson.
Same as he’s not only worked with champions like James Toney and Israel Vasquez, but famously spent 20 years as strength coach for no less than Manny Pacquiao.
So when it comes to power … well, the bloke knows more than a little.
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Which has us wondering exactly what Fortune would say to those now suggesting his latest charge, Justis Huni, doesn’t have enough?
“Well,” the retired heavyweight shrugs, “I’d say ‘how many fights have you had f… had?’”
Which is fair enough.
“Mate, Justis Huni has power,” Fortune continues, nodding now towards Australia’s rising heavyweight star as he prepares for a padwork session.
“Just have a look at his legs.
“Have a look at his size. The guy is 6’4’’.
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“So Justis has the speed, he has the power — but he’s also been fighting with an amateur style since he was 10 years old.”
Which, Fortune admits, now needs some tweaking.
“Back when I was fighting amateur, it was an apprenticeship for the pros,” continues the boxer who famously fought Lewis way back in 1995.
“But these days the amateurs, it’s like a whole new sport.
“All that tap, tap, tap bulls…t.
“It isn’t going to just leave you overnight, either.
“So Justis can punch … you just have to bring it out in him.”
Which is exactly what the retired Aussie heavyweight is now being paid to do.
Based out of Los Angeles for the past 20 years, Fortune has flown into Brisbane this week as part of his ongoing overhaul of Australia’s undefeated heavyweight prodigy.
Apart from cornering the 23-year-old in his latest headliner against New Zealand’s Kiki Leutele this Friday night, the Hollywood-based trainer is also helping Huni with an even bigger request — learning to punch like his childhood idol, Tyson.
So strong did Huni prove during his six weeks Stateside, he not only busted the ribs of two sparring partners but, according to Fortune, got the better of top-five ranked Frank Sanchez (21-0).
Oh yeah, the trainer is also urging the young Queenslander to now leave Brisbane for a permanent residency in the US.
Asked if he sees similarities between Huni and that US boxing icon the pair are now trying to emulate, Fortune said: “Yeah.
“Justis obviously is a lot bigger.
“Mike is my height.
“But once he sits down (on his punches) and uses his legs, yeah, absolutely.
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“I hold the mitts for Justis and when you’re using those little gloves, mate it hurts like a motherf…er.”
While the trainer says it will take three, maybe four fights before the Queenslander is achieving exactly what the pair have partnered up to achieve, he is promising a more aggressive puncher against Leutele and says a move to the US is then the logical next step.
“Because you can’t stay in Australia and fight at that next level,” he said.
“Doesn’t work, simple as that.
“But right now, we just need to make Justis more aggressive.
“It’s about don’t slap, turn your shots over, throw with intention, with intimidation … get your opponent thinking ‘why the f… does he want to kill me?’.”
Importantly, Huni is also open to moving Stateside, saying he would welcome the opportunity to base himself out of Fortune’s Hollywood gym.
“If that’s where the fights are – which is likely – then yes,” he said of a shift to the US.
“There is also that quality sparring over there, too.
“So if that’s where it’s at, then that is where I have to be.”
Pushed on their work together, Fortune explained the pair were working to bring added aggression to Huni’s movements.
“And Justis does have that,” he insisted. “But he’s only 23.
“Just at the beginning.
“But when he feels that power now, he gets it.
“And so to help bring him along – to watch his progression – it’s going to be really satisfying.
“Especially when he starts icing people.”