Monte Barrett Set To Become “King of New Zealand”
By Johnny Walker
When Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett defeated David Tua last year in the Tuamanator’s back yard Down Under, it looked like the future was rosy for the New York heavyweight boxing veteran.
Alas, things haven’t worked out quite as Barrett [35-9-2, 20 KOs] had planned.
After two exciting fights with the New Zealand native (the first resulted in a controversial draw in Atlantic City in 2010), Barrett had hoped to cash in on a lucrative third bout, but that hope has now been dashed by Tua’s unofficial retirement from the sport.
Barrett has also soured on Tua personally after his name was dragged through the mud with the results of a post-fight drug test last year supposedly showing him testing positive for a banned substance.
The test results ultimately amounted to nothing because of the time it took (over 3 months) for them to be made public, and also because of other procedural irregularities.
Even if Tua were to change his mind on retirement, Barrett tells Boxing Insider that he’s no longer interested in making it a trilogy “because of the way Tua handled the drug test.”
“He could have called me, he has my number, instead of calling me a cheater and a loser in the press,” Barrett, who maintains his innocence in the matter, explains.
Barrett famously called Tua an over-emotional “Queen of New Zealand” while talking to Boxing Insider after the drug test fracas broke out, a quote which was plastered across many major publications in Tua’s homeland.
Tua had been in line for a title shot against a Klitschko brother had he defeated Barrett, yet Barrett has earned no such opportunities after beating Tua once officially, and twice in reality (even Tua admitted he lost their first encounter in Atlantic City).
Instead, Barrett had to sit and watch as Wladimir Klitschko destroyed the totally undeserving Jean Marc Mormeck of France.
Undaunted, however, Barrett hopes now to get some measure of revenge on Tua by going to his homeland and becoming the major heavyweight attraction there. He is even toying with the idea of taking up New Zealand citizenship.
“Tua is the Queen of New Zealand, so I figure I’ll be the King,” the always quotable Barrett says.
First up in this royal crusade is a defense of Barrett’s Oriental and Asia Pacific titles against previous Tua victim Shane Cameron (28-2, 21 KOs) on May 31 in New Zealand.
Cameron has been fighting at cruiserweight since his 2009 loss to Tua, and has reeled off five straight wins.
While Barrett says he “doesn’t feel any pressure to knock out Cameron the way Tua did” (a brutal second round KO), he also notes that his opponent “is susceptible to a lot of punches” and “they’re the punches that I throw.”
“I won’t say which ones,” Barrett slyly adds.
Barrett is now working with a new trainer, Buddy McGirt, and says preparations for the Cameron fight are already underway and “going great.”
Should he emerge victorious against Cameron, Barrett may find his regal status Down Under being challenged by none other than local rugby superstar Sonny Bill Williams (5-0, 3 KOs).
A neophyte in the boxing ring, the muscular Williams, 26, nevertheless captured the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association heavyweight title in February with a win over Clarence Tillman.
“I’ll fight [Williams] if they want to see it,” Barrett laughs.
“They say he has million dollar abs.
“I can’t wait to punch him in the gut so he will never want to put on a pair of boxing gloves again. He’ll go back to playing soccer or rugby or whatever for the rest of his life, having nightmares about that punch to the gut.”