David Tua: “I’m Still Here. I’m Still Going To Do What I Love To Do”

By James Slater: David Tua, a close points loser to Monte Barrett on Saturday, has made it clear he will definitely fight on despite the loss, just the 4th of his long pro career. The big-hitting 38-year-old started the return fight with Barrett very slowly, failing to fully come to life until the later rounds. However, when Tua did finally get going he managed to have “Two Gunz” hurt, on the canvas and almost knocked out. Only the bravery and determination of the 40-year-old New Yorker prevented a late Tua win.

And, despite picking up another loss, Tua says he is quite happy with the way Saturday’s fight went; putting it down to a “learning experience.” Tua was cut for the first time in his career, when a Barrett shot opened a cut above his eye in the 3rd-round. “The Tuaman” is proud of the way he dealt with the crisis.

“I know this will sound strange,” Tua said to TVNZ. “But I am happy with the outcome. I don’t want to sound selfish, but I can honestly say, I wouldn’t change a thing about the fight. I lost, but I won. It’s like I have come full circle now as a fighter. Saturday was a good learning experience. In the past I have faced defeat and come back. And now I have been cut and come through that.

“I never knew that when I would be cut it would awaken the warrior spirit in me. But that’s what it has done. It’s given me a glimpse of how I need to be more brutal in the future. The last two rounds is the David Tua you will see in the future.”

Tua did look an effective, damaging fighter in those last two sessions, even busting the gutsy Barrett’s jaw. But what took Tua so long to get going? And can the veteran avoid such slow starts in future bouts?

As big a name as he is, and as exciting as he is (despite drawing with and losing to Barrett, both fights were enjoyable and pretty exciting to watch and Tua can take comfort from that), Tua can still make decent money. I wondered if merely making money would be enough for the proud warrior to decide to stick around, but he has made it clear he will box on. But who against? Kali Meehan has been mentioned as a possible foe, and that match-up would likely attract a crowd in New Zealand. But who else would the fans pay to see Tua rumble with?

Here are four fighters I’d still like to see Tua face:

1: Chris Arreola. Say what you want, but this fight could not possibly fail to be exciting. I’m not sure who would win (due to his youth, Arreola would be favourite), but I’d pay to see this one.

2: Hasim Rahman. A third fight between these two would be somewhat intriguing. Tua won the first clash via controversial stoppage, while “The Rock” held Tua to a draw a few years later. Which veteran slugger would win fight-three?

3: Oliver McCall. The battle of the iron chins. Neither guy has ever been stopped, and McCall has yet to be put down as a pro. Both guys can still bang away (albeit in a much slower fashion than in their heyday) and it would be interesting to see which guy was toughest.

4: David Haye. As a comeback fight for Haye, this one would be interesting with a little bit of danger for the former WBA champ thrown in for added spice. Say what you want, but this fight would be A: exciting and, B: one that would never go the distance.

Article posted on 15.08.2011

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