Sam Goodman cautious of hand injury, still eyeing December Inoue bout

Sam Goodman’s decision to risk his status as mandatory challenger to super bantamweight megastar Naoya “The Monster” Inoue came to fruition, scoring a unanimous decision victory over unbeaten Chainoi Worawut.

Goodman took it 117-111, 117-113, 119-109 over the eighth-ranked fighter from Thailand.

The Wollongong native never really looked troubled, but did suffer some damage to his left hand in the middle of the fight. It led to Goodman using his right hand more down the stretch.

FIGHT RE-CAP: Goodman defeats Worawut

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Sam Goodman punches Chanoi Worawut during their Super Bantamweight World Title Eliminator bout. Getty

It’s understood Goodman told those in his corner that he felt his hand crunch in the fourth- sixth rounds and then later in the ninth. Reports from the venue claim he broke his hand.

“It was hurting in round four or six,” he said post-fight.

“Later in the fight I felt it go even more. We’ll got get a scan. It shouldn’t keep me out for too long. I should be right by year’s end for the world title.

Goodman catches the Thai fighter with a left hand. Main Event

“We want ‘The Monster’. We’re coming for him. We’ll go get this hand looked at and we’ll go.”

Fighting in front of his home crowd, Goodman started slower than his Thai opponent, who came out more aggressive, looking to turn the match into a slugfest early.

Goodman, who relies on his defence, was lured into the pocket by Worawut, early, yet that did not trouble him as he ate shots but delivered some nice strikes to the body.

Worawut looked to test Goodman’s power and stood straight in front of the Aussie and seemed to be frustrating him, until the Thai fighter ran out of gas as the fight wore on.

Worawut was dancing in between rounds. Main Event

At one point Worawut had landed more shots than Goodman on the stat sheet, but by the fifth round, his production slowed and his punches weren’t connecting with the same pop.

From there Goodman grew in confidence, fighting on the outside and the inside despite Worawut landing some meaningful shots sporadically.

Worawut copped some damage but was never rocked by Goodman, who took fewer risks in the pocket in the latter rounds as his corner urged him to fight on the outside to limit his exposure close.

“He’s tough. I knew he was going to be, he’s a world class fighter,” Goodman said. “But we’re in Wollongong; they say the house always wins and this is my f—ing house! He ain’t beating me.

Goodman lands. Main Event

” I got through it with a hand that was cooked from round 4, so I’m glad I got through it. I’m going to have to get that sorted. Hopefully it’s not too serious.”

Asked if he though it was broken, he said: “I don’t know, it’s close. I really felt it crack again in round nine. It was weird feeling. I was having to flick with it for the rest of the fight.”

Speaking to Main Event after the fight, Goodman conceded that he’ll need to be much better against a fighter like Inoue, who is deemed as the pound-for-pound king by many boxing analysts.

“I’ve got to be better. It was a bit messy and I should have stayed more organised. With the next one I will wait a little bit.

“As long as my hand pulls up sweet, I think December is the date. I’ve been waiting for that. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, I’ve just got to make sure the hand is OK.”