By Johnny Walker
Veteran heavyweight contender David “Tuamanator” Tua opened up his training camp to reporters this week in New Zealand ahead of his August 13 rematch with New Yorker Monte Barrett – a rematch that is designed to settle the score after the two men fought to a controversial draw last summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Tua (52-3-2, 43 KO) has sounded fatalistic about this bout in the lead-up, saying more than once that a loss to Barrett, or even a less than spectacular win, probably means the end of the road for the Tuamanator.
However, talking to reporters after his open training session, Tua revised the second part of that equation a little bit.
“The win is the most important thing and I want to win well,” Tua told Auckland Now.
“If it is to be by points, so be it … I’m prepared for anything.”
Tua made a spectacular re-entrance to the heavyweight scene in 2009 with a highlight reel knockout of Shane Cameron, this after a long layoff during which he saw a court case against his former managers drain his bank account and almost ruin his life.
Tua’s legal bills 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, which froze the purses from his last three fights.
At his lowest point, Tua even had to move his family to his co-manager’s house.
Tua looked the “Tuaman” of old against Shane Cameron, moving well and stalking his prey before landing some vicious left hands that led to a second round knockout of his foe.
Since the Cameron fight, however, Tua has often struggled, going the distance with Demetrice King and Friday Ahunanya, as well as enduring the aforementioned draw against Barrett, a fight that many ringside observers felt he lost. There are whispers in the boxing world that Tua has lost his much-vaunted knockout power.
Tua, however, has seemingly put his problems behind him for now, and is looking to start a new chapter in his career with a redemptive win over Barrett.
“I know one thing – I’m going to be ready,” Tua told stuff.co.nz after the open training session at his gym.
“I am coming here every day and leaving everything here. I have suffered every training session, every day.
“It is a type of suffering that takes you to where you almost cry – but that’s a good feeling.”
After so many troubles of his own, hard-luck David Tua hopes that it is Monte Barrett who leaves the ring in tears on August 13 in Manukau, New Zealand.