The David Tua-Alexander Ustinov heavyweight clash, a big deal in New Zealand but in truth nowhere else, will see a Tua who has gotten himself in his best physical condition for some time. Tipping-in at a trim and solid 236-pounds – to giant Ustinov’s 292 – Tua knows he will have to retire if he loses.
Now in his forties, the Samoan powerhouse is coming off a points loss to Monte Barrett. The real carrot for Tua in this fight is the vague possibility of a shot at Wladimir Klitschko should he get the job done in style. But can Tua, even an in-shape version, get inside on the much taller Ustinov and detonate his bombs? A true David Vs. Goliath showdown, this fight could be lively, or it could go the other way and be a dull affair. If Ustinov uses his height, reach and strength and is content to jab and then tie Tua up, how will the much shorter man be able to cope?
Tua, at just 5.9,” has given away height his whole career, but never has he met as tall a guy as the 6’7” Ustinov. And Ustinov is pretty mobile for such a giant. This does have the look of a tough night’s work for Tua. Many fans may say they don’t care about Tua anymore, but he’s been a very good and exciting fighter in his day. Unless he can roll back the years as he rolls his way inside and murders Ustinov’s ribs and then lets loose up top with his still-lethal left hook, the final chapter of his largely unfulfilled career may come to an end in a matter of hours.
But, and this is Tua’s motivation, a big win will put him back in the picture.
Prediction: 36-year-old Ustinov boxes well in using his advantages before a desperate Tua catches up with him in the later rounds. Tua by KO in the 9th.