by James Slater: It’s been a while since he defeated a ranked contender, but because of his genuinely frightening punch power, David Tua has remained both an easily recognisable name and a fighter many fans are still interested in. Well, according to BoxRec.com, “The Tuaman” is set to lace up the gloves this coming July 12th, in Odessa, Ukraine. Sharing the bill with Tua will be unbeaten 27-0(18) heavyweight Roman Greenberg. As yet neither man has any opponent next to his name – only the all too familiar TBA..
Still, it will be interesting to see Tua back in action. Absent from the ring since his September 2007 stoppage of Cerrone Fox, Tua will possibly be carrying a little ring rust come July. It’s puzzling why the 35 year old Samoan powerhouse chooses to take long breaks from fighting. No sooner does David get some momentum going in a come back, he disappears again. In the last five years, Tua has only boxed eight times. Time is surely running out on Tua if he wants to finally become the heavyweight champion of the world.
Seemingly content these days to face opposition everyone knows is not much of a threat to him, is Tua serious about reaching the very top, or will he merely carrying on boxing at a lower level? Is it possible the 35 year old now looks at boxing as nothing much more than a hobby or pastime? Such a question may seem silly, but when, in recent interviews before fights against the likes of Robert Hawkins, Tua remarked that “this was his world title fight,” did David mean he is simply content boxing at such a low level today? Maybe.
Tua has not won a meaningful fight since way back in 2002 – his stoppage of the then unbeaten Fres Oquendo. Since then, he has had layoffs and wins over veterans and/or journeymen only – in the process doing nothing to suggest he will one day live up to the enormous potential he showed when he first burst onto the world stage. Sure, Tua has proved himself over his career – he was without doubt one of the best young heavyweights of the late ’90s and early 2000s – but what does Tua have left to offer these days?
We will find out how serious Tua is about this latest come back when his next opponent’s name is revealed. For if his foe is nothing more than another unranked and not too dangerous heavyweight, it will be clear Tua is simply going through the motions as a fighter now. What we really want to see, is Tua signing up for a true test, and a meaningful fight. If he does choose this option on July 12th, his return really will be something to get excited about.