By Johnny Walker
In the lead-up to his devastating knockout loss to Shane Cameron in New Zealand today, American heavyweight veteran Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett spent much of his time trash-talking.
But the object of his trash talk wasn’t so much Cameron, the man he was fighting, but instead David “Tuamanator” Tua, the man he knocked down for the first time in Tua’s career and then finally defeated over two entertaining heavyweight bouts in 2010 and 2011.
In his zeal to get Tua back into the ring for the third installment of their rivalry, Barrett may have taken his eye off the ball, worrying more about Tua than Cameron. And ironically, Barrett needn’t have worried, because Tua has announced that he isn’t unretiring, because he was never retired to begin with.
“I never did retire. I believe without being stupid that I still have three or four years left,” Tua tells 3 News.
Tua’s recent absence from the fight game, he says, is “because it’s important for me to take care of a few things that needed done before getting back in the ring.”
Tua still has financial problems stemming from a protracted legal battle with two ex-managers as well as some problematic investments.
The fighter’s legal bills recently ballooned to $4.2 million, and to add to his woes, he was also hit by a $2.2 million tax bill from the New Zealand government.
The Tuaman was also going through marital difficulties over the last year, splitting with his wife, Robina.
Tua says that the two bouts with Monte Barrett that ended in a controversial draw and a points loss caused him to take time out from his boxing career.
“Sadly, for me the two times we got in the ring to fight each other David Tua never turned up and that’s what I mean about being temporarily retired for the time to sort other things out because I can’t keep doing that.”
But Tua—who correctly predicted that Shane Cameron would knock out his foe Monte Barrett–says he will be back in the ring either in December or early in 2013.
And with reborn heavyweight Shane Cameron now on a roll, riding a six-fight win streak and in possession of the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental belts that Barrett won from Tua last year, a second fight between the two Kiwis—Tua knocked Cameron cold in 2009–sounds like it may soon become a reality.
And Tua also has another comeback—this time a verbal one–for Barrett’s recent deriding of him as a “fat, lazy slob.”
“Monte you said I’m fat,” says the Tuamanator.
“I’m not fat, I’m just easy to see, man.”