Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The future of David Tua

The future of David Tua is in limbo following his underwhelming performance, and controversial draw against Monte Barrett last month. This fight was intended to propel Tua back onto the US boxing scene with the ultimate goal being a second shot at the heavyweight title. However, Tua failed to impress suffering the first knockdown of his career and clinching a contentious draw on the scorecards. This unexpected drawback on his road to glory has left many critics speculating about the future of New Zealand's boxing hero.

3 News ran a story on Friday (27.08.10) stating that negotiations were underway for Tua to fight four-time world champion Evander Holyfield in November. High-profile boxing commentator, and longstanding Tua supporter Colonel Bob Sheridan said in an interview - "It's in the negotiation stages right now, and I'm right in the middle of it... Holyfield and David Tua [are] two guys in similar stages of their careers. The winner of the bout will meet Vladamir Klitscho for the heavyweight championship - this is hot off the press stuff."

However, it was reported on Sunday (29.08.10) that Tua's global promoter Cedric Kushner, and the Tua camp in New Zealand have heard nothing of these negotiations. Kushner said, "I was just as surprised as everyone else. I don't know where that comes from", and claims that Bob Sheridan was "misquoted."

Tua is currently back in New Zealand determined to get his career back on track following his disappointing performance against Barrett. Kushner said - "I want to get David back into action. We have to work out a date and go from there". But, he was skeptical about the value of fighting Holyfield.

Should the fight go ahead at the speculated date of November 5, Holyfield will be 48 - 11 years older than Tua. However, despite his age Holyfield has remained active defeating South African boxer Francois Botha in April for the WBF heavyweight title. He now has the Klitscho brothers in his sights, and has even expressed interest in taking on David Haye for the WBA heavyweight championship.

When Tua got out-boxed and knocked down in the 12th round by Barrett, Bob Sheridan said what we were all thinking - "Are we seeing the end of the career of David Tua?" He did not box like a future world champion. He was frustrated and sloppy, and although he was battling a shoulder injury he did not perform with the conviction Tua is known for. He claims he is in the best shape of his life - his passion is revived, he's training hard, and he's in good physical condition. But, even if Tua upsets Holyfield, his promise of a title fight is likely to be against a much taller, much faster, much younger Vladamir Klitscho who has the most effective jab in heavyweight boxing since... Lennox Lewis.

There are currently conflicting stories surrounding the prospect of a Holyfield - Tua match-up, which is not unusual in the world of international fight promotion. Whether or not there has been any official discussion between the two camps is unclear, but the fact that the idea has even arisen suggests that it is a possibility.

Should the fight go ahead there will be a lot on the line for both men.  For Tua, it is his personal mission to have another shot at the world title - beating Holyfield will give him this opportunity. Losing to Holyfield will likely diminish Tua's hopes of ever competing at the top again. Holyfield is a man at the end of his career with an impressive legacy to uphold. He won't want to go out on a low and therefore, like Monte Barrett, will fight with the heart of a lion.

Two men with everything to fight for, and everything to lose. It may not be the safest path to glory for either either man, but who said boxing was supposed to be safe?

Credit to 3news.co.nz & stuff.co.nz for this story.

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