The Ring magazine’s number sixth ranked super bantamweight contender Sam ‘The Ghost’ Goodman in the best boxer on the planet in his weight class not named Naoya Inoue.
That is the opinion of retired three-weight world champion Jeff Fenech.
The International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee is high on Goodman 16-0 (7) and sees a massive upside for the 25-year-old from Albion Park in New South Wales, Australia.
“Because when we’re talking about Australian prospects, Sam Goodman is our best outside Tim Tszyu,” Fenech said to Fox Sports Australia.
“He has the ability, the skill, the speed. And he has this incredible belief in himself that, right now, is making him so hard to beat.
“To do what Sam has done this year, to beat the calibre of fighters he has, it’s special.”
It has been a stellar year for Goodman. In March he outpointed former IBF champion TJ Doheny before doing the same to undefeated American contender Ra’eese Aleem in June. Another decision win followed against Mexican-American Miguel Flores in October.
But Goodman isn’t done with 2023 just yet. On Friday night he will take on unbeaten Chinese southpaw Zhong Liu 19-0 (7) at The Star in Sydney, broadcast live in Australia on Foxtel and Kayo.
He says he draws inspiration from Fenech’s career and hopes to emulate his tremendous success in the ring.
“To be able to hold a belt that one of Australia’s greatest has owned, that would be outstanding,” Goodman said to Fox Sports Australia.
“A really cool storyline and something I’m looking to do.
“I want to follow in Jeff’s footsteps, win multiple world titles and put myself up there as one of the best this country has ever produced.”
Japanese superstar Inoue 25-0 (22) will put his WBC and WBO 122-pound titles on the line against WBA and IBF champion Marlon Tapales 37-3 (19) of the Philippines in a four-belt unification bout at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Boxing Day.
Goodman, who is the number one ranked contender in the WBO and IBF, will have a mandate to face the winner. Both Fenech and Goodman think that will be the 30-year-old Inoue.
“And I know Sammy would fight Inoue,” Fenech said. “And probably give him the best fight he’s ever had. But I also think Inoue is the best fighter in the world right now.
“I also think Inoue beats Tapales and then looks for something higher because everyone else in that division [outside Goodman], I think he eats them all up.
“I also think Sammy Goodman beats everybody else in that division. And that is why I just don’t think he and his team need to take that risk.
“I think Sammy can eventually unify the division himself, he just needs to take his time.”
Goodman believes he is ready for the big names right now, but first he has to get past Liu.
“I think I can beat anyone is this division. But I just have to keep building, keep stacking the resume with big names,” he said.
“For super bantamweights, I’m still The Ring magazine’s youngest ranked fighter.
“But while time is on my side, I’m not looking to take my time. Next year I’ll be fighting for world titles.
“Although right now, it’s the guy in front of me that matters.
“And I’m ready to show I’m levels above him.”