by Johnny Walker
American heavyweight veteran Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett’s ears perked up this week when he heard that David “Tuamanator” Tua, who he beat in Tua’s back yard in New Zealand, is planning a comeback.
“Tua is back with [boxing promoters] Duco Events, run by David Higgins and Dean Lonergan, who I call ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ said the always animated Barrett today in an exclusive interview with Boxing Insider.
Barrett has longed to get Tua back in the ring to complete a boxing trilogy.
When the two veterans get together in the ring, something special indeed takes place. Both of their fights–in Atlantic City in 2010, when Barrett knocked the Tuaman down for the first time in the New Zealander’s career and had to settle for a controversial majority draw, and then the second in 2011 in New Zealand, where Barrett dominated the first half of the fight and survived a late knockdown to win–were very entertaining, fan friendly affairs.
As a result, Barrett (35-10-2, 20 KOs) is convinced that the boxing world “wants to see the 25th round” between he and the Tuaman, who at this point should feel he has something to prove against the American. But Barrett is also perplexed by what he is reading in the New Zealand press regarding Tua’s comeback plans.
“He wants to fight one of the top five guys in the world right now,” Barrett muses.
“[Tua’s] not even deserving of that. But given the fact they [Duco] are not paying any money, they got a guy out there killing guys they’re looking at, Luis Ortiz (19-0, 16 KOs).
“And this guy’s gonna beat him to death, just beat him up, like Chris Byrd did; he’s a Cuban guy, slick, southpaw, he’s undefeated and he’s gonna take [Tua] apart.
“I feel like Tua’s not even proven — he can’t beat me, and I’m 41 years old,” Barrett chides. “The fight Tua needs to prove to you, me, anybody, to take him serious is, he needs to beat me. If he doesn’t fight me, nobody will ever take him serious.
“Another thing I don’t understand is this,” Barrett continues. “He was going to fight in December, then he postponed it to March, now they say he’s fighting in June [laughter].”
Boxing Insider mentioned that Tua is said to be topping the 300 pound mark right now.
“You can’t be that overweight,” Barrett, himself a dedicated physical culturist at this point in his career, observes. He feels Tua should be working off the weight while sharpening his rusty skills in the squared circle.
“You can’t worry about your weight, you gotta work it off, you gotta get in shape in that ring.”
“The bottom line is, he’s gotta fight me. And if he’s got ‘Dumb and Dumber’ to guide his career, he’s gonna go in the trash can. These guys will get him beat, they don’t care anything about him — [Duco Events] are big fans of boxing, they’re good businessmen, but they don’t know anything about boxing.”
“For Tua to be in the game for eighteen years and he doesn’t know better, he’s just ‘duuuuuuh,’ he’s just a brute, a big klutz,” Barrett taunts.
“He needs to sit down, collect his thoughts, and think, ‘What am I doing?’ Tua’s not a thinker, period. The only fight that’s out there for him–and nobody’s gonna wait until June–is me and him.”
Boxing Insider mentioned that Tua accused Barrett of using PEDs the last time they fought, but that the test was thrown out due to flaws in the reporting procedure.
“I worked my butt off and I got in good shape — I used supplements like every athlete in the world,” a still angry Barrett says.
“It wasn’t because of any drug — I trained hard, I wanted it more, and I beat him fair and square. You can’t come back with a drug test five-and-a-half months later and say I failed it. Bring it right to the table, and if I failed it then, they wouldn’t have let me out of New Zealand with those belts.”
“With a person like Tua who is weak, you expect the unexpected,” Barrett seethes.
“I’m like, let’s be men … we already know the infamous line, he is the ‘Queen of New Zealand’ [laughter].
“I say to [Tua], do yourself, do your country some justice. Fight me. Prove you can beat me. If you can beat me, I’ll kiss your feet, we’ll walk over to the ring, I’ll carry you out on my shoulders, and I’ll be your biggest cheerleader. If he wants me to wear pom-poms, I’ll wear pom-poms.
“That’s how sure I am that I have Tua’s number. And I will always have Tua’s number. There’s somebody out there for everybody. I’m his Achilles heel.”
And what if the fight doesn’t come off? Barrett admits that he took his eye off the ball last time out in New Zealand, when he suffered a knockout at the hands of local heavyweight Shane “Mountain Warrior” Cameron in July. Barrett spent most of the pre-fight promotion talking about David Tua, while also battling some personal issues, and he took his eye off the ball, getting knocked out.
Barrett says he’d like a rematch with Cameron even more than one with Tua, but doesn’t expect that to ever happen.
“Against Cameron I was in a bad space, I had the big mouth, and I let a personal situation in my life into the ring with me; I was not focused, and I lost. On top of that, I didn’t have a trainer until [arriving in NZ] two weeks before the fight, Buddy McGirt.
“It just goes to show you, never underestimate nobody. I take my hat off to Cameron: he was in the right place at the right time and threw the right punch.
“I would love to fight Cameron again, but [his camp] knows they got a ”get out of jail free’ card, and they gonna keep it. I appreciate that. Boxing is the biggest game of Monopoly.”
“I can do Tua in my sleep, but in my real heart is to fight Cameron again.”
In the absence of that, though, Monte Barrett says he’s staying in the holiday spirit and thinking of the Santa Claus-like figure of David Tua.
“He’s gonna have to come down my chimney one day,” Barrett says of the Tuamanator, “and I’m gonna have a big present for him!”