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Sam Goodman wary of hand injury, still eyeing December fight with Inoue

Sam Goodman’s decision to risk his mandatory challenger status against super bantamweight megastar Naoya “The Beast” Inoue resulted in a unanimous decision victory over the undefeated Chainoi Worawut.

Goodman defeated the eighth-ranked fighter from Thailand 117-111, 117-113, 119-109.

The Wollongong native didn’t really look troubled at all, but suffered some damage to his left hand midway through the fight, which led to Goodman using his right hand more towards the end.

FIGHT SUMMARY: Goodman defeated Worawut

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Sam Goodman punches Chanoi Worawut during their Super Bantamweight World Title Elimination match. Getty

Goodman is understood to have told his corner that he felt his hand crack in the fourth through sixth rounds and then again in the ninth round. According to reports from the venue, he broke his hand.

“By the fourth or sixth round, I was hurting,” he said post-fight.

“I felt it was getting worse later in the fight. We have to get a scan. He shouldn’t keep me out for too long. I have to be ready for the world title by the end of the year.

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

“We want the ‘Beast’. That’s why we’re coming. We’ll go and have this hand looked at and then we’ll leave.”

Fighting in front of his home crowd, Goodman started slower than his Thai opponent, who made a more aggressive start, aiming to turn the match into a fistfight early on.

Goodman, who relied on his defense, was pulled into the pocket early by Worawut but this did not bother him, he swallowed the incoming shots and landed some nice shots to the body.

To test Goodman’s strength, Worawut stood right in front of his Australian opponent and tried to frustrate him until the Thai fighter ran out of steam.

Worawut was dancing between rounds. Main event

Worawut at one point had statistically thrown more punches than Goodman, but in the fifth round his production slowed down and his punches stopped having the same impact.

Goodman gained confidence by battling both inside and outside, despite Worawut occasionally making meaningful shots.

Worawut took some damage but was never shaken by Goodman, who took fewer risks in the pocket in the late rounds as his corner wanted him to defend from close range and limit his vulnerability.

“He’s tough. I knew he would be, a world-class fighter,” Goodman said. “But we’re in Wollongong; they say house always wins and this is my f—ing house! He can’t beat me.

Goodman is coming down. Main event

“I got through the fourth round with a cooked hand, so I’m happy I got through it. I’ll have to figure it out. Hopefully it’s not too serious.”

Asked if he thought it was broken, he said: “I don’t know, it’s close. I felt it crack again in the ninth round. It was a weird feeling. I had to slap it for the rest of the fight.”

Speaking to Main Event after the fight, Goodman admitted he should have been much better against a fighter like Inoue, who is considered the pound-for-pound king by many boxing analysts.

“I should be better. It was a bit messy and I should have stayed more organized. I’ll wait a bit for the next one.

“As long as my hand is pulled up sweetly, I think December is history. I’ve been waiting for this. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, I just need to make sure the hand is good.”