A bold plan to send Justis Huni to the top of world boxing's heavyweight division is on track after the prodigiously talented retained his national crown.
Huni (2-0) defended his ANBF Australian heavyweight title with a fourth-round stoppage win over Arsene Fosso (3-1) at Brisbane's Fortitude Music Hall on Thursday night.
The question hovering over Huni was whether or not he had the knockout power to match it with the best of them. Fosso answered that with three knockouts in his first three fights.
Yet for every question about Huni's power, there were perhaps some remaining over Fosso's durability. Never has the Cameroonian heavyweight been forced to go deep into a fight.
So when Huni dragged him into the fourth and landed shots with regularity and evaded them just as well, Fosso could do little as his feet grew heavy.
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The 37-year-old began wearing a raft of heavy shots before referee Phil Austin called an end to the contest, moments before cornerman Adam Lovelock could throw in the towel.
"I thought I performed well, showcased my boxing abilities," Huni said.
"[The stoppage] is what it is, the boxer's safety comes first. I think it was a good stoppage, you live to fight another day.
"It's good we've got a very active program. I just want to take it one fight at a time and then look forward to the Olympics next year, if it goes ahead."
The 21-year-old prospect will now set his sights on promoter Dean Lonergan's bold three-fight plan designed to turn the Olympic Games gold medal contender into a professional force.
Huni may yet squeeze in a fight in Toowoomba first, before he faces Herman Ene-Purcell in Toowoomba in March. Former world title challenger Alex Leapai would come next in Brisbane, though a deal is yet to be signed.
One contract that is signed is a bout with former world champion Lucas Browne in July which would undoubtedly complete Huni's coronation as the heavyweight king of Australia.
That bout would come mere weeks before Huni lands in Tokyo to chase Olympic gold.
There was little doubt Huni would handle the pressure of a main event bout beamed live around the nation - his debut came under somewhat similar circumstances.
The surrounds of the Fortitude Music Hall were something of an unknown for Fosso, whose three professional bouts have come in Canberra with none televised.
Perhaps the only things not foreign were the sight of a boxing ring, his cornermen and ring announcer Stephen Peios.
He made a good account of himself early but soon enough it became clear he was only a puncher's chance, leaving the venue shattered in the aftermath.
"We had Arsene's best interests at heart when we were about to stop the fight," Lovelock said.
"We told him after the third round he was only getting one more chance to turn things around. He didn't show enough, but that's just the class of Justis Huni.
"It's better to stop a fight too early than too late. Arsene made a good account of himself. He should be proud of what he has done."
AT A GLANCE
National Boxing Series - Huni v Fosso at The Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane.
Bantamweight - vacant Commonwealth (British Empire) female bantamweight title - Shannon O'Connell (20-6-1) bt Kori Farr (3-5-2) via unanimous decision (99-89, 98-90, 100-89)
Welterweight -Andrew Hunt (7-0-1) bt Luke Woods (6-3) via TKO (round three, 2:30)
Heavyweight -Teremoana Junior (1-0) bt Drew Jackson (2-1) via TKO (round two, 1:40)
Welterweight - ANBF Australian welterweight title, IBF Pan Pacific welterweight title - Ben Kite (18-4-1) bt Danny Kennedy (9-2-1) via TKO (round 10, 0:28)
Middleweight - ANBF Australian middleweight title, IBF Australasian middleweight title, WBO Oriental middleweight title - Issac Hardman (8-0) bt Tej Pratap Singh (16-5-3) via majority decision (97-93, 96-96, 98-92)
Heavyweight - ANBF Australian heavyweight title - Justis Huni (2-0) bt Arsene Fosso (3-1) via TKO (round four, 1:07)