Olympic gold medal hope Justis Huni will dive straight into his professional career next month when he fights for an Australian heavyweight title on debut.
The Queenslander will make the most of rule changes in 2016 that allowed Olympic-bound boxers to fight professionally when he takes on Faiga 'Django' Opelu on October 22 at Brisbane's Fortitude Music Hall.
Huni hopes the 10-round showpiece is one of several before next year's rescheduled Games, where he has legitimate hopes of becoming the country's first boxing gold medallist.
The 21-year-old Huni has gone 18-3 in an amateur career that included world super heavyweight championship bronze in Russia last year.
With the Olympics pushed back a year, he felt turning professional was his best course for keeping busy in the meantime.
"This is what I've always wanted, to come into the pros with a bang," he said.
"I was jumping out of my socks (when the fight was confirmed) ... it's always been a dream to me but I feel like everything's starting to come true and hopefully I can make it to the top one day."
The card will also feature world-ranked cruiserweight Jai Opetaia in a rematch with Ben Kelleher, whom he beat in 2017.
The southpaw is a perfect 19-0 and is targeting a world title shot in 2021.
"It's been frustrating; we were at that sort of time we want to move forward closer to that world title," he said of COVID-19 spoiling any chance of an international bout this year.
"But this fight does make a bit of sense; he hurt his hand the last fight and I wasn't happy with the way I won the fight.
"There was a bit of talking after the fight, I'm keen to get in there and prove them all wrong ... I just want to win convincingly."
Australian Associated Press