Sam Goodman had barely finished showering and getting dressed after his one-sided domination of Miguel Flores on Sunday when he checked his phone.
Among the hundreds of messages, texts, Insta-story tags and comments, one in particular stood out.
About 700km away, Alex Volkanovski was preparing to jet out to Abu Dhabi for his late-notice lightweight world title fight with Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 this weekend.
Despite his hectic past couple of days, and the rush of leaving the country, Volkanovski still had time to check in on Goodman’s bout and send his fellow South Coast fighter a congratulatory message.
Goodman responded to Volk’s post-fight message with: “Thanks, brother, you’re up next. Gong’s on top.”
Volkanovski, who accepted a high-stakes lightweight title fight with Makhachev on just 11 days’ notice, trains out of a humble gym in Windang, just south of Wollongong.
Goodman is a proud representative of Albion Park, and wears the local footy team’s colours on his shorts whenever he fights.
They’re both fiercely proud of their South Coast backgrounds, and the UFC’s featherweight champion has high hopes for Goodman.
“I remember watching him in the amateurs. He fought at Albion Park footy field, up the stairs there,” Volkvanovski told this masthead earlier this year.
“I remember watching him and thinking, ‘Man, this kid’s good’.
“It’s good to see, I’ve been keeping an eye on him, I’ve watched quite a few of his fights and he’s got a big future ahead.”
Goodman’s win over Flores is the next step in his march towards a world title, which he hopes will come midway through next year.
First though, the 25-year-old is taking a big show to Wollongong in December.
“The next one’s Wollongong, I’ll be going again in December and I’ll be straight back into camp,” he said.
“I’m really excited about going home and taking a big show to Wollongong, we’ve got some great fighters.
“We’ve got me, we’ve got Volk next week repping Wollongong, so we’re a big fighting town. I’m very proud to be taking a big show to Wollongong.”
Goodman says the fight will be at the WIN Entertainment Centre, and whenever it happens, Volkanovski will be right there in the stands.
“I’ll be there, I always support the local boys,” he said. “I’ll be there and I’ll be making sure everyone else turns up too.”
Originally published as Boxing news: Alex Volkanovski’s message to Sam Goodman after Tszyu undercard win