Goodall’s boxing star on the rise
Former junior representative Australian Rules footballer Joseph Goodall is targeting Commonwealth super-heavyweight gold following his shock qualification for the Glasgow Games.
The 18-year-old Queenslander caused a huge boilover at the national championships in Perth in April by defeating London Olympian Johan Linde for a place in the final against Willis Meehan.
The big-punching Meehan, who makes his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters this Saturday, was odd-on favourite to beat Goodall and book a place for Glasgow only to go down in a unanimous points defeat.
It capped a remarkable rise for Goodall, who only took up boxing four years ago after a hip flexor problem halted any hopes of reaching the AFL, having carved out a reputation as talented on-baller with the Western Taipens in the Queensland Rep Cup competition.
“Footy was my main focus and building towards getting to the draft but between the ages of 15-16 I just kept getting injured,” Goodall told AAP.
“My dad played for Port Adelaide in the SANFL – he then got the chance to play for Richmond in the VFL and really got me into the football as a kid.”
But that football experience certainly didn’t go to waste in his new sport where he’s impressed the Australian coaches with his agility and speed which belies his towering 193cm, 103kg frame.
“He’s very agile for a super-heavyweight and he’s really developing nicely,” veteran coach Don Abnett told AAP.
“I don’t think many people expected him to get this far given his experience.
“But we had a team from Scotland visit us recently and Joe beat both of their super-heavyweights, he could cause a surprise in Glasgow.”
Goodall puts his success in Perth down to following a smart gameplan. And he feels he can continue to flourish under the guidance of Abnett and new national head coach Englishman Kevin Smith.
“My belief in my boxing smarts is my biggest asset,” he said.
“Willis is a big hitter and a smart boxer but I just thought I am not going to match him trading punching so I had to beat him by working him over.
“You have use skills to your advantage. If I have a good preparation with the coaches then there is no reason why I cannot win a Commonwealth medal.”