David Tua (left)
|Real name||Mafaufau Sita|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Reach||70 in (178 cm)|
21 November 1972 |
|Wins by KO||43|
David Tua (born 21 November 1972) is a former professional heavyweight boxer, who fought out of South Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Tua is a former world heavyweight title challenger and is credited for his punching power. His greatest asset was his trademark left hook.
Tua fought for 21 years and recorded 59 bouts in total. His most notable victories are against John Ruiz, Darroll Wilson, David Izon, Oleg Maskaev, Hasim Rahman, Fres Oquendo, Michael Moorer and Shane Cameron.
David Tua announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 40, following a defeat to Alexander Ustinov in November 2013.
Biography and career
In his early career, Tua trained three days a week at a small gym in Mangere Bridge, under boxing trainer Gerry Preston. Tua became New Zealand national heavyweight champion in 1988 at age 15. He was surprisingly knocked out in the first round by three time Olympic gold medalist Félix Savón at the 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships. At age 19 he won a Bronze Medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He lost his semi-final to David Izonritei, whom he would later defeat as a professional. Tua turned professional later the same year.
Tua debuted in December 1992 and soon became internationally respected for having one of the most devastating left hooks in world boxing and for his ability to end fights early and to dish out severe punishment. Of his first 27 fights, 23 were by knockout.
Tua is known for his devastating knockouts. In his 1997 fight with Ike Ibeabuchi, the two fighters combined to set the record for most punches thrown in a heavyweight fight on record. Ibeabuchi won the decision, handing Tua his first pro defeat. Prior to the loss, Tua had devastating KO wins against future titlist John Ruiz (via 1st round KO, in only 19 seconds) and Darroll Wilson. Tua also beat David Izon and future champion Oleg Maskaev to set up the fight with Ibeabuchi. After the loss to Ibeabuchi, Tua took on future champ Hasim Rahman and stunningly TKO'd Rahman in the 10th round, a fight which Rahman had dominated up to that point. Rahman was stunned late in the 9th round from a punch after the bell, and never seemingly recovered, taking a pummelling in the 10th. The victory over Rahman marked the beginning of Tua's struggles with his weight. He ballooned up to 253 pounds when he defeated Obed Sullivan in 2000 by KO. Later that year, he weighed 245 pounds in the loss to Lennox Lewis. Tua was disappointing in the fight, with both fighters avoiding each other and Tua not throwing combinations. Tua lost a clear cut decision.
Following the Lewis loss, Tua regained steam with a KO over Danell Nicholson but lost a close decision in his next fight to future champion Chris Byrd. In 2002 he beat prospect Fres Oquendo and demolished Michael Moorer in his next fight via a powerful shot 30 seconds into the first round, which put Moorer out cold. In 2003 he drew in a 12 round rematch with Rahman - and following the fight his career drifted into obscurity due to promotional disputes.
Tua was inactive for over two years before he stepped into the ring on 31 March 2005 and bested Talmadge Griffis in a 10-round bout — ending the match and earning a TKO victory with 26 seconds remaining. Tua's next contest in October 2005 ended in a split decision over Cisse Salif with Tua dominating in the late rounds.
Tua defeated Edward Gutierrez by knockout in the fourth round of a scheduled 10-rounder on 26 July 2006. The fight was held at the Manhattan Center ballroom in New York City, and featured on ESPN2. Tua started slowly, scored a knockdown with his famous left hook in the second round, and put Gutierrez down for the count in the fourth round with a combination of two left hooks, one to the head and the decisive one to the body.
In November 2006 Tua defeated Maurice Wheeler in the seventh round of a scheduled 10-rounder by knockout. Tua ended the bout with a solid left uppercut to the body which immediately sent the howling Wheeler to the canvas.
Tua continued his comeback in February 2007 with a unanimous decision over Robert Hawkins in a 10-round bout. Tua ended the match being the aggressor and hurt Hawkins in both the ninth and tenth rounds with body punches but was unable to end the match with a knockout.
Tua, looking in good shape and weighing in at 237½ lbs (his lightest fight weight since 2001), was featured as the main event of a Pay Per View show on 18 August 2007 in Sandy, UT and ended the bout quickly with a first round knockout of Mexican champion Saul Montana. Tua threw two powerful left hooks to the head that sent Montana sprawling to the canvas giving Tua his sixth win in a row.
Tua, again looking in good shape and weighing in at 234 lbs, fought the unheralded Cerrone Fox at the Soaring Eagle Casino, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on 7 September 2007. Tua made short work of his over matched opponent ending the bout at 1:41 of the second round.
While Tua's promoter, Cedric Kushner, stated David was scheduled to fight an opponent on 18 October 2007, the fight never materialized.
Tua fought fellow New Zealander Shane Cameron at Mystery Creek, Hamilton on 3 October 2009 with Tua knocking Cameron out seven seconds into the second round to pick up the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Heavyweight titles. The promoters for the fight were John McRae and David Higgins of Duco Events. The fight had been scheduled for an earlier date, but was delayed due to Cameron having surgery on a fractured hand.
On 31 March 2010 Tua fought Friday Ahunanya, winning on points after 12 rounds. The fight promoter for this fight was again John McRae and David Higgins of Duco Events.
The Tua-Barrett fight had been tentatively scheduled for 26 June in São Paulo, Brazil. However the fight was moved to 17 July at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City in a bid to promote David Tua's career in the United States. At 38 years old, Monte Barrett (34-9, 20 KOs) was viewed by some as an easy opponent for Tua as he had lost his previous three fights. The match was a controversial draw with Tua being knocked down for the first time in his professional career late in the 12th round.
Tua's rematch against Monte Barrett on 13 August 2011 resulted in a unanimous point decision going in favour of Barrett. The judges scored the bout 113-112 115-112 115-112. Despite knocking Barrett down in the final round with a left hook/double right hand combination, Tua had a somewhat subdued fight up until that point. Struggling with range and accuracy Tua landed few effective shots in the early rounds and Barrett was able to control the majority of the fight with his superior reach and a very effective jab.
In December 2011, it emerged Monte Barrett tested positive for banned stimulant methylhex-anemine following a urine test after his 13 August points decision over the Kiwi-Samoan boxer. Tua's lawyer, Blair Edwards, called for action against the 40-year-old New Yorker requesting the return of Tua's WBO Asia-Pacific and Oriental titles and restoration of ranking points.
2013 comeback and retirement
In June 2013 it was confirmed that Tua is once again getting back into the ring. Belarusian Alexander Ustinov defeated him by unanimous points decision, following which he announced his retirement from professional boxing. Ringside Report were mixed in their evaluation of his career, referring to him as both "one of the best heavyweights never to win a world title" and "a disappointment and underachiever."
Titles and accomplishments
Outside the ring
On 10 October 1992 Tua appeared on the New Zealand version of the gameshow Wheel of Fortune. He asked for an "O for Olsen" (a reference to Olsen Filipaina) but this was heard by some as "O for awesome". He requested "P" when buying a vowel on the same episode. He was also heard to ask if he could buy a "constonant" during the same show.
From 1992 to 2003, Tua was managed by former boxer Kevin Barry, who also trained him from 2001. But in 2003, Tua ended his business relationship with Barry and financial manager Martin Pugh. Though Barry accepted his dismissal as trainer, he resisted Tua's decision to end their contract, which still had two years to go. In 2004, Tua's accountant learned that the boxer's finances with his boxing company, Tuaman Inc. Ltd., were tangled with company expenses; Tua no longer had most of his $NZ 20 million in purses from his professional matches, and important assets Tua thought he owned alone were anything but, including a piece of coastal land at Pakiri. Tuaman Inc. Ltd had business expenses flowing in various directions, involving companies and clients Tua had no knowledge of. Tua's own home was purchased with borrowed money, and the boxer's purses were linked to renovation costs for Martin Pugh's property. These findings were based on documents from Pugh's offices. Court action was inevitable.
In 2005 Tua took Kevin Barry and Martin Pugh to court over their business arrangements. Barry and Pugh have accused Tua of manipulating them to collect revenue, yet Tua maintained that he knew little of the men's affairs and did what they told him to do out of trust. The dispute has so far given both sides legal victories: over the issue of the coastal land property, the court ruled in favor of Barry and Pugh, since Tua failed to properly clarify his ownership over the land; on the issue of the terminated 2003 contract, the court ruled in Tua's favour, concluding he clearly owed no expenses to his former management from that contract. The courts are currently preparing to handle the other issues of the boxer's company's finances.
In May 2007, Cedric Kushner, president of Gotham Boxing Inc. and Tua's promoter, filed a $5 million lawsuit against IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and promoter Shelly Finkel among others - and while the lawsuit is unrelated to Tua, Kushner has stated he will drop the lawsuit if Tua is given a title bout against Klitschko in 2008, which ultimately failed to materialize.
David Tua has two children, both boys.
Tua has won 29 of his fights without going to the fourth round; two of his fights lasted less than 30 seconds (he KO'd Michael Moorer in 30 seconds, and floored John Ruiz in 19), a record tied by only one other boxer, Jeremy Williams. At least two more of Tua's bouts have lasted under a minute, although full records of his early fights are incomplete, so he may have more short bouts.
While Tua received only one shot at a heavyweight title belt, he owns victories over fighters John Ruiz (two-time heavyweight champion), Hasim Rahman (two-time heavyweight champion), Fres Oquendo (two-time heavyweight title challenger), Oleg Maskaev (former WBC heavyweight champion), and Michael Moorer (three-time heavyweight champion).
Professional boxing record
|52 Wins (43 knockouts), 5 Losses, 2 Draws |
|Loss||52-5-2||Alexander Ustinov||UD||12||16/11/2013||Claudelands Arena, Hamilton, New Zealand|
|Loss||52-4-2||Monte Barrett||UD||12||13/08/2011||TelstraClear Pacific, Manukau City, New Zealand||Lost WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||52-3-2||Demetrice King||UD||10||19/03/2011||TelstraClear Pacific, Manukau City, New Zealand||Retained WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.|
|Draw||51-3-2||Monte Barrett||MD||12||17/07/2010||Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Retained WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||51-3-1||Friday Ahunanya||UD||12||31/03/2010||Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand||Retained WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||50-3-1||Shane Cameron||KO||2 (12)||03/10/2009||Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand||Won WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||49-3-1||Cerrone Fox||TKO||2 (10)||07/09/2007||Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States|
|Win||48-3-1||Saul Montana||KO||1 (10)||18/08/2007||South Town Exhibition Center, Sandy, Utah, United States|
|Win||47-3-1||Robert Hawkins||UD||10||22/02/2007||Roseland Ballroom, New York, New York, United States|
|Win||46-3-1||Maurice Wheeler||KO||7 (10)||03/11/2006||Roseland Ballroom, New York, New York, United States|
|Win||45-3-1||Edward Gutierrez||KO||4 (10)||26/07/2006||Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, New York, United States|
|Win||44-3-1||Cisse Salif||SD||10||21/10/2005||Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States|
|Win||43-3-1||Talmadge Griffis||TKO||10 (10)||31/03/2005||Waitakere's Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Draw||42-3-1||Hasim Rahman||SD||12||29/03/2003||Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.|
|Win||42–3||Russell Chasteen||KO||2 (10)||30/11/2002||Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||41–3||Michael Moorer||KO||1 (10)||17/08/2002||Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||40–3||Fres Oquendo||TKO||9 (12)||13/04/2002||Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia, United States||Won NABF Heavyweight title.|
|Win||39–3||Garing Lane||TKO||8 (10)||19/12/2001||Feather Falls Casino, Oroville, California, United States|
|Loss||38–3||Chris Byrd||UD||12||18/08/2001||Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For USBA Heavyweight title. Final part of the IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.|
|Win||38–2||Danell Nicholson||KO||6 (12)||23/03/2001||Texas Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Part of an IBF Heavyweight Elimination Tournament (Byrd-Harris/Tua-Nicholson).|
|Loss||37–2||Lennox Lewis||UD||12||11/11/2000||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For WBC, IBF & IBO Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||37–1||Robert Daniels||TKO||3 (12)||21/07/2000||Regent Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained USBA & IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||36–1||Obed Sullivan||KO||1 (12)||03/06/2000||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained USBA & IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||35–1||Shane Sutcliffe||TKO||2 (10)||23/10/1999||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||34–1||Gary Bell||TKO||1 (12)||17/07/1999||Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, United States||Retained USBA Heavyweight title.|
|Win||33–1||Hasim Rahman||TKO||10 (12)||19/12/1998||Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida, United States||Won USBA & IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight titles. IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.|
|Win||32–1||Eric Curry||TKO||1 (10)||26/09/1998||Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||31–1||Nate Tubbs||KO||2 (10)||30/05/1998||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||30–1||Cleveland Woods||TKO||3 (10)||18/04/1998||Cow Palace, San Francisco, California, United States|
|Win||29–1||Jeff Wooden||MD||10||10/03/1998||National Guard Armory, Pikesville, Maryland, United States|
|Win||28–1||Jeff Lally||TKO||2 (10)||22/11/1997||Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Loss||27–1||Ike Ibeabuchi||UD||12||07/06/1997||ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, United States||Lost WBC International Heavyweight title.|
|Win||27–0||Oleg Maskaev||TKO||11 (12)||05/04/1997||Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Retained WBC International Heavyweight title.|
|Win||26–0||David Izon||TKO||12 (12)||21/12/1996||Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Retained WBC International Heavyweight title.|
|Win||25–0||Darroll Wilson||KO||1 (12)||20/09/1996||James Knight Convention Center, Miami, Florida, United States||Retained WBC International Heavyweight title.|
|Win||24–0||Anthony Cooks||TKO||1 (10)||21/07/1996||Teamster's Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
|Win||23–0||John Ruiz||KO||1 (12)||15/03/1996||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Won WBC International Heavyweight title.|
|Win||22–0||Bruce Bellocchi||TKO||2 (10)||13/01/1996||Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||21–0||Mauricio Villegas||TKO||6 (10)||26/08/1995||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||20–0||Sean Hart||UD||8||15/07/1995||Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, United States|
|Win||19–0||Dan Murphy||TKO||5 (10)||20/05/1995||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||18–0||Bruce Bellocchi||TKO||1 (10)||04/03/1995||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||17–0||Cecil Coffee||KO||1 (10)||09/12/1994||ASB Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Win||16–0||Ken Lakusta||KO||4 (10)||01/10/1994||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, United States|
|Win||15–0||Everton Davis||UD||10||13/08/1994||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Davis down in rounds 4 & 9.|
|Win||14–0||Lester Jackson||UD||8||07/05/1994||Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||13–0||Calvin Jones||TKO||4 (8)||16/04/1994||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||12–0||Bill Corrigan||KO||2 (8)||05/02/1994||The Aladdin, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||11–0||Mike Acey||KO||1 (10)||26/11/1993||ASB Basketball Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Win||10–0||Krishna Wainwright||UD||6||06/11/1993||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||9–0||Rick Honeycutt||KO||2 (6)||25/09/1993||Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York, United States|
|Win||8–0||Larry Davis||KO||1 (6)||10/07/1993||Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||7–0||Bruce Johnson||TKO||2 (6)||22/06/1993||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||6–0||Willie Washington||KO||1 (6)||28/05/1993||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Win||5–0||Alfredo Nevarez||TKO||1 (6)||23/03/1993||HemisFair Arena, San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Win||4–0||Howard Kelly||TKO||3 (6)||27/02/1993||Showboat Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||3–0||Lazaro Almanza||TKO||3 (6)||06/02/1993||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States|
|Win||2–0||Lorenzo Poole||KO||1 (6)||14/12/1992||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||1–0||Ron Humes||KO||1 (4)||01/12/1992||Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States|
- "Boxing: The fist that could win it for Tua". The New Zealand Herald. 11 November 2000. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- [Biography at New Zealand Olympic Committee]
- David Tua at boxrec.com
- "Boxing: Tua too much for Talmadge Griffis". The New Zealand Herald. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- David Tua Walks Through Gutierrez - Boxing News
- Tua stops Wheeler with body shot
- David Tua tops Hawkins
- Is The Tua Man a NUA Man? Greenburg, Quillin and Williams all Victorious
- Tua wins again
- August likely for Cameron v Tua
- "Tua confirms next opponent". Television New Zealand. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- Samways, Ana (17 July 2009). "O for Olsen". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- 20 things you never knew about Tua. BBC Sport. 3 November 2000.
- Klitschko vs. Tua? Kushner vs. Finkel?
- Vaimoana Tapaleao (9 October 2009). "Be strong, have faith, says Tua". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- David Tua. The Wild Samoan Training Center.
- "Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers", about.com
- David Tua highlight video with Tua Rap soundtrack
- David Tua highlight video
- Pinnacle FiteNite August 2007 Pay Per View Promotional Video
- David Tua KOs Saul Montana
- David Tua KOs Shane Cameron
- Family Guy Clip
- Tua "O" for Awesome
- 60 Minutes: Behind the scenes with David Tua ahead of his fight with Friday 13