By Johnny Walker
In an exclusive interview with Boxing Insider yesterday, current Asia and Oriental heavyweight champion Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett revealed that he had split with promoter Cedric Kushner, and that his rival, David “Tuamanator” Tua–who spoiled Kushner’s plans by losing to Barrett, thus nixing a proposed Tua-Wladimir Klitschko fight–would soon follow suit.
Barrett’s word was a good as gold, as Tua announced today that he and Kushner are parting ways after ten years of working together.
Tua made mostly the “correct” noises as he brought his professional relationship with Kushner to a close: “I have nothing but good things to say about Cedric Kushner,” said Tua, quoted in tvnz.co.nz. “I am grateful for all the things we have done together over the last few years. But timing is everything and this is just the right time to go our separate way.”
Tua, however, did allude to problems with Kushner: he implied that Kushner was holding him back, saying that being free of the promoter meant he could “make some noise again” in the heavyweight division.
“There is no middle man. I am in control of David Tua,” said the New Zealand-based Samoan heavyweight.
Kushner was very bitter that Tua lost a unanimous decision in his rematch with Barrett on August 13—so bitter, Barrett says, that he bizarrely complained to the victorious American fighter, his only other client, that he had ruined a big payday for Tua and himself against Wladimir Klitschko. Kushner also bemoaned the lost Klitschko opportunity at the post-fight press conference.
Kushner and Tua were scheduled to meet in New Zealand following the rematch, but Tua, perhaps miffed that Kushner went public with his complaints about the lost Klitschko opportunity, failed to show, and the angry promoter flew back to New York without talking to his fighter.
According to Barrett, as of yesterday, Tua still had not spoken to Kushner, who up to that point was unaware that the Tuamanator was about to permanently sever their relationship.
“He doesn’t want to be bothered,” says Barrett of the Tua’s attitude toward Kushner.
Barrett, meanwhile, is pursuing legal action against Kushner for what he says are unpaid monies owed to him from the Tua rematch.
Kushner, says Barrett, now “has no fighters.”
“I’ve been very patient with Ced and his empty promises. It’s time I move on to make a living. I’m a promotional free agent and I’m on the market again,” says Barrett.