Tua vs. Barrett on Saturday

By Eugene Carnachan: The upcoming David Tua 52 (KO 43) + lost 3 (KO 0) + drawn 2 = 57 fight looms as the biggest cross roads fight for the long time contender.

Tua who had his first pro bout in December of 1992 is nearing his twentieth year in boxingís professional ranks.

Much has been written about the title shot he had against Lennox Lewis back in 2000; an often cautious Lewis taking out a unanimous pointís decision over a Tua that simply couldnít break bridge the gap.

On that night Tua was bested by the premiere big man of the era however with his volume and power punching approach combined with his iron clad chin there is little doubt Tua possessed the potential to be heavyweight world boxing champion.

Management issues which led to long periods of inactivity conspired to shelf Tua at a time Hasim Rahman, John Ruiz, Oleg Maskaev each held varying versions of the heavyweight title; Tua having posted knock out wins over all three fighters while also, 2002, dispatching former heavyweight titlist Michael Moorer in a one destruction.

The litigious nature of Tuaís court battle with his former managers conspired to turn his career into an intermittent side show that often played second fiddle to the vitriolic sniping between he and his former managers however now in the twilight of his career Tua realizes such things can no longer stand in the way of his last ditch effort at winning a world title.

Fast forward to the present tense and Tua has shaken the acrimony of years of fighting in courts instead of boxing rings and finds himself facing Monte Barrett 34(20)-9(5)-2 in a rematch of a 2010 draw where Barrett became the first man to put Tua on the canvass.

The volume punching David Tua of his early career is no longer. Age (unless youíre Bernard Hopkins) conspires to diminish the work rate however that doesnít mean a careers over, it simply means fighters have to be more judicious about the shots they throw and thatís very much the case of this incarnation of David Tua.

Tua isnít going to come in throwing like a whirlwind but instead look to press and make Barrett work.

Tuas New Zealand trainer Chris Martin has being pleased with the commitment Tua has shown in the gym and with Tua weighing around 235 pounds, some 13 pounds lighter than his March win over Demetrice King, means a more mobile Tua who will be looking to bully Monte Barrett to fighting off the back foot and that doesnít auger well for the big American.

Barrett at 40 years of age is no spring chicken and he hasnít posted a win since 2008, his last five bouts been knock out losses to David Haye, Olandier Solis, Alexander Ustinov, the draw with Tua and journeyman Charles Davis earlier this year.

In this fight Tua has a point to prove and not since his 2009 round two blowout of local rival Shane Cameron has Tua being this up for a fight.

A loss or unconvincing win could see Tua slip out of relevance to both fans and sanctioning bodies. At this point either scenario is probably career debilitating for Tua.

Tua knows this better than anyone and wants to make one last push at winning the heavyweight title and is training the house down.

Tua realizes his reputation took a denting when Barrett put him on the canvass and he is looking to regain lost credit.

Looking at Monte Barrettís record conventional logic says easy win for Tua however they were pretty much the same ingredients when the pair met eleven months ago and we now know Barrett surprised everyone by effectively employing his jab and moving Tua around the ring but with Tua more on-point expect to see a more concerted David Tua in an early or mid-rounds stoppage over Barrett.

Article posted on 11.08.2011

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