By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Tua’s Drive For Another Heavyweight Title Fight
NEW YORK — He was one of the youngest rising heavyweight prospects in boxing ten years ago. The impact of his left hook from his 5’ 10,” frame was compared to Mike Tyson’s.
At age 34, David Tua (46-3-1, 40 KOs) of New Zealand continues his long road back to becoming a heavyweight title contender after disappearing from boxing several years ago.
Tua was a very strong puncher. His action-packed punching style was featured on numerous HBO Sports telecasts and Showtime Championship Boxing shows.
Working with promoters and trainers at Main Events, Tua had one of the best fight-teams in the boxing business.
Amongst Tua’s biggest victories include knockout victories against former world heavyweight champions Michael Moorer, John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman, and current WBC champion, Oleg Maskaev.
Tua also handed former heavyweight title challenger Fres Oquendo and a once rising Darroll Wilson their first professional losses by knockout.
Tua had accumulated 15 first round knockouts before a contract dispute with his former manager Kevin Barry nearly ruined his boxing career. Tua disappeared from boxing in 2003.
During that time, The Klitschko Brothers were making their mark in the heavyweight division. Ruiz, a man who Tua knocked out in 19 seconds, became the first Latino to win a world heavyweight championship twice. Lennox Lewis retired.
“So much has been happening since I’ve been away from the sport. I’ve been away because of things that happened with my manager. What happened allowed me to have a different love for boxing. It allowed me to have a good rest.”
Even I’m back looking to make another go and fight for a world title one day.
When Tua was 27 he finally earned his first world heavyweight title match against Lennox Lewis. Tua was nearly no match for Lewis’ imposing left jab ands right cross.
The bout went the distance and Tua fell miserably short on all three judges’ scorecards 109-119, 110-118, and 111-117.
Tua received other opportunities to earn a heavyweight title shot. In August 2001, Tua dropped a 12-round decision to Chris Byrd in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator.
Byrd went on to beat Evander Holyfield to win the IBF championship four months later. In March of 2003, Tua, fighting at 245 pounds, looked out of shape as he lost to Rahman, who has since had two heavyweight title reigns.
“There were times when it was frustrating,” Tua told BlackAthlete.com. “I would only fight every six to eight months. The only way to get the job done is to be busy. Even though I’ve been inactive for a long time, I need to get my timing to where it used to be.”
Tua resumes his successful comeback on Thursday, February 22, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, when he challenges Robert Hawkins (21-6, 7 KOs) to a 10-round fight.
Since his return to boxing in 2005, Tua has earned four consecutive victories – three by knockout.
“This is going to be the first fight and maybe the next three or four fights after this I’ll be in the best shape to prepare to fight the top 10 guys.”
Nikolai Valuev, at 7-feet-3 and 325 pounds is the undefeated WBA champion. Wladimir Klitschko, at 6-feet-7 and 245 pounds is the IBF champion.
Maskaev holds the WBA title and Briggs is the WBO champ. The heavyweights are much bigger than they’ve ever been and at a small 5-feet-10,” there are many doubts as to whether Tua can beat any of them.
“It’s exciting,” Tua said. “I can beat them. If I didn’t believe in y heart that I could beat one of them to win a title one day, I’d be wasting my time. I’m not getting back in the ring to prove nothing.”
“The only reason I’m back in the ring is to achieve and dream since I was a young boy. That’s to become the heavyweight champion of the world. That’s the only thing that matters.”
Tua acknowledged the fact that he let a gold opportunity to win a heavyweight championship slipway with a dismal performance against Lewis.
Some fighters only receive one heavyweight championship fight. Some fighters receive several. Many fighters receive none. Tua is willing to claw and scrape to the top for one more title shot.
“Anyway I can get it,” Tua concluded. “I just want an opportunity to fight for another world title.”