David Tua

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David Tua
Statistics
Real name Mafaufau Sita
Nickname(s) Tuaman
Tuaminator
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m)
Reach 70 inches (178 cm)
Nationality New Zealander
Samoan
Born (1972-11-21) 21 November 1972 (age 41)
Faleasiu, Upolu, Samoa
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 59
Wins 52
Wins by KO 43
Losses 5
Draws 2
No contests 0

David Tua (born 21 November 1972) is a former professional heavyweight boxer. Tua turned professional in 1992, and went on to challenge for the undisputed world heavyweight championship against then reigning champion Lennox Lewis; however, he was defeated by unanimous decision in 2000. Tua was known for his punching power, especially his left hook, which accounted for many of his knockouts. He recorded notable wins over John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman, Fres Oquendo and Michael Moorer.

Amateur career[edit]

In his early career, Tua trained three days a week at a small gym in Mangere Bridge, under boxing trainer Gerry Preston.[1] Tua became New Zealand national heavyweight champion in 1988 at age 15.[2]

At the 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships, he was surprisingly knocked out in the first round by three-time Olympic gold medalist Félix Savón. 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.[2] Tua turned professional later the same year.

Professional career[edit]

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 won by knockout.[3]

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.

Tua fought for the WBC, IBF, & IBO heavyweight titles in November 2000 - and went the distance in a 12-round bout - but lost on points by a wide margin to defending champion Lennox Lewis.

Following the Lewis loss, Tua regained steam with a KO over Danell Nicholson but lost by 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 with 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.

2005 comeback[edit]

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.[4] Tua's next contest in October 2005 ended in a split decision over Cisse Salif with Tua dominating in the late rounds.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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[9] 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.[10]

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,[11] the fight never materialized.

2009 comeback[edit]

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.[12]

On 31 March 2010 Tua fought Friday Ahunanya, winning on points after 12 rounds. The fight promoters for this fight were 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 fought journeyman boxer Demetrice King on 19 March 2011.[13] Tua defeated King by unanimous decision with the scores: 100-91, 100-91 & 100-90.[14]

Tua's rematch against Monte Barrett on 13 August 2011 resulted in a unanimous points 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 he 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 that Monte Barrett tested positive for banned stimulant methylhex-anemine following a urine test after his 13 August points decision over Tua. 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 the restoration of ranking points.[15]

2013 comeback and retirement[edit]

In June 2013 it was confirmed that Tua was 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.[16] 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."[17]

Titles and accomplishments[edit]

  • Professional
    • 2009 WBO Asia-Pacific Heavyweight title
    • 2009 WBO Oriental Heavyweight title
    • 2002 NABF Heavyweight title
    • 1998 USBA Heavyweight title
    • 1998 IBF Intercontinental title
  • Amateur
    • 1992 Summer Olympics Bronze Heavyweight (– 91kg)
    • 1992 Oceanian Amateur Boxing Championships Gold (Heavyweight)
    • 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships Bronze (Heavyweight)
    • 1990 Oceanian Amateur Boxing Championships Gold (Heavyweight)
    • 1988 New Zealand Amateur Heavyweight champion

Outside the ring[edit]

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".[18] He requested "P" when buying a vowel on the same episode.[19] 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.[20]

In September 2009 Tua lost an aunt in the Samoa tsunami. In early October he travelled to Samoa with cousin Va'aiga Tuigamala to see how they could help.[21]

David Tua has two children, both boys.

Records[edit]

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.

In 2003 Tua was ranked 48th on The Rings list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.[22]

While Tua received only one shot at a heavyweight title belt, he has won 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).[19]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Tua is mentioned in an episode of the animated series Family Guy, when character Stewie draws Tua's likeness on a wall.[23]

Professional boxing record[edit]

52 Wins (43 knockouts), 5 Losses, 2 Draws [2]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 52-5-2 Belarus Alexander Ustinov UD 12 16/11/2013 New Zealand Claudelands Arena, Hamilton, New Zealand
Loss 52-4-2 United States Monte Barrett UD 12 13/08/2011 New Zealand TelstraClear Pacific, Manukau City, New Zealand Lost WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.
Win 52-3-2 United States Demetrice King UD 10 19/03/2011 New Zealand TelstraClear Pacific, Manukau City, New Zealand Retained WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.
Draw 51-3-2 United States Monte Barrett MD 12 17/07/2010 United States Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Retained WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.
Win 51-3-1 Nigeria Friday Ahunanya UD 12 31/03/2010 New Zealand Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand Retained WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.
Win 50-3-1 New Zealand Shane Cameron KO 2 (12) 03/10/2009 New Zealand Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand Won WBO Asia Pacific & WBO Oriental Heavyweight titles.
Win 49-3-1 United States Cerrone Fox TKO 2 (10) 07/09/2007 United States Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Win 48-3-1 Mexico Saul Montana KO 1 (10) 18/08/2007 United States South Town Exhibition Center, Sandy, Utah, United States
Win 47-3-1 United States Robert Hawkins UD 10 22/02/2007 United States Roseland Ballroom, New York, New York, United States
Win 46-3-1 United States Maurice Wheeler KO 7 (10) 03/11/2006 United States Roseland Ballroom, New York, New York, United States
Win 45-3-1 United States Edward Gutierrez KO 4 (10) 26/07/2006 United States Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, New York, United States
Win 44-3-1 Mali Cisse Salif SD 10 21/10/2005 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 43-3-1 United States Talmadge Griffis TKO 10 (10) 31/03/2005 New Zealand Waitakere's Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
Draw 42-3-1 United States Hasim Rahman SD 12 29/03/2003 United States Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.
Win 42–3 United States Russell Chasteen KO 2 (10) 30/11/2002 United States Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 41–3 United States Michael Moorer KO 1 (10) 17/08/2002 United States Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 40–3 United States Fres Oquendo TKO 9 (12) 13/04/2002 United States Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia, United States Won NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 39–3 United States Garing Lane TKO 8 (10) 19/12/2001 United States Feather Falls Casino, Oroville, California, United States
Loss 38–3 United States Chris Byrd UD 12 18/08/2001 United States Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For USBA Heavyweight title. Final part of the IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.
Win 38–2 United States Danell Nicholson KO 6 (12) 23/03/2001 United States Texas Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Part of an IBF Heavyweight Elimination Tournament (Byrd-Harris/Tua-Nicholson).
Loss 37–2 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis UD 12 11/11/2000 United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For WBC, IBF & IBO Heavyweight titles.
Win 37–1 United States Robert Daniels TKO 3 (12) 21/07/2000 United States Regent Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained USBA & IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight titles.
Win 36–1 United States Obed Sullivan KO 1 (12) 03/06/2000 United States MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained USBA & IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight titles.
Win 35–1 Canada Shane Sutcliffe TKO 2 (10) 23/10/1999 United States MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 34–1 United States Gary Bell TKO 1 (12) 17/07/1999 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, United States Retained USBA Heavyweight title.
Win 33–1 United States Hasim Rahman TKO 10 (12) 19/12/1998 United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida, United States Won USBA & IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight titles. IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.
Win 32–1 United States Eric Curry TKO 1 (10) 26/09/1998 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Win 31–1 United States Nate Tubbs KO 2 (10) 30/05/1998 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 30–1 United States Cleveland Woods TKO 3 (10) 18/04/1998 United States Cow Palace, San Francisco, California, United States
Win 29–1 United States Jeff Wooden MD 10 10/03/1998 United States National Guard Armory, Pikesville, Maryland, United States
Win 28–1 United States Jeff Lally TKO 2 (10) 22/11/1997 United States Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 27–1 Nigeria Ike Ibeabuchi UD 12 07/06/1997 United States ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, United States Lost WBC International Heavyweight title.
Win 27–0 Russia Oleg Maskaev TKO 11 (12) 05/04/1997 United States Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Retained WBC International Heavyweight title.
Win 26–0 Nigeria David Izon TKO 12 (12) 21/12/1996 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Retained WBC International Heavyweight title.
Win 25–0 United States Darroll Wilson KO 1 (12) 20/09/1996 United States James Knight Convention Center, Miami, Florida, United States Retained WBC International Heavyweight title.
Win 24–0 United States Anthony Cooks TKO 1 (10) 21/07/1996 United States Teamster's Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Win 23–0 United States John Ruiz KO 1 (12) 15/03/1996 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won WBC International Heavyweight title.
Win 22–0 United States Bruce Bellocchi TKO 2 (10) 13/01/1996 United States Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 21–0 Mexico Mauricio Villegas TKO 6 (10) 26/08/1995 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 20–0 United States Sean Hart UD 8 15/07/1995 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, United States
Win 19–0 United States Dan Murphy TKO 5 (10) 20/05/1995 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 18–0 United States Bruce Bellocchi TKO 1 (10) 04/03/1995 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 17–0 United States Cecil Coffee KO 1 (10) 09/12/1994 New Zealand ASB Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
Win 16–0 Canada Ken Lakusta KO 4 (10) 01/10/1994 United States The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Win 15–0 Jamaica Everton Davis UD 10 13/08/1994 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Davis down in rounds 4 & 9.
Win 14–0 United States Lester Jackson UD 8 07/05/1994 United States Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 13–0 United States Calvin Jones TKO 4 (8) 16/04/1994 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–0 United States Bill Corrigan KO 2 (8) 05/02/1994 United States The Aladdin, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–0 United States Mike Acey KO 1 (10) 26/11/1993 New Zealand ASB Basketball Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
Win 10–0 United States Krishna Wainwright UD 6 06/11/1993 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–0 United States Rick Honeycutt KO 2 (6) 25/09/1993 United States Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
Win 8–0 United States Larry Davis KO 1 (6) 10/07/1993 United States Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 7–0 United States Bruce Johnson TKO 2 (6) 22/06/1993 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 6–0 United States Willie Washington KO 1 (6) 28/05/1993 United States Houston, Texas, United States
Win 5–0 United States Alfredo Nevarez TKO 1 (6) 23/03/1993 United States HemisFair Arena, San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 4–0 United States Howard Kelly TKO 3 (6) 27/02/1993 United States Showboat Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 3–0 Cuba Lazaro Almanza TKO 3 (6) 06/02/1993 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 2–0 United States Lorenzo Poole KO 1 (6) 14/12/1992 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States
Win 1–0 United States Ron Humes KO 1 (4) 01/12/1992 United States Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Boxing: The fist that could win it for Tua". The New Zealand Herald. 11 November 2000. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b [Biography at New Zealand Olympic Committee]
  3. ^ "David Tua at". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  4. ^ "Boxing: Tua too much for Talmadge Griffis". The New Zealand Herald. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "David Tua Walks Through Gutierrez - Boxing News". Boxingscene.com. 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  7. ^ "Tua stops Wheeler with body shot". Eastsideboxing.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  8. ^ "David Tua tops Hawkins". Eastsideboxing.com. 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  9. ^ http://www.pinnaclefitenite.com/news.php?article_id=11
  10. ^ "Is The Tua Man a NUA Man? Greenburg, Quillin and Williams all Victorious". Eastsideboxing.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  11. ^ Tua wins again[dead link]
  12. ^ "August likely for Cameron v Tua". Home.nzcity.co.nz. 1994-12-17. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  13. ^ "Tua confirms next opponent". Television New Zealand. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "David Tua - Boxer". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  15. ^ Liam Napier (2011-12-01). "Third David Tua-Monte Barrett bout likely". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  16. ^ Liam Napier (2013-11-17). "Tua's career over after unanimous loss". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  17. ^ http://ringsidereport.com/?p=32307
  18. ^ Samways, Ana (17 July 2009). "O for Olsen". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2009. 
  19. ^ a b 20 things you never knew about Tua. BBC Sport. 3 November 2000.
  20. ^ Klitschko vs. Tua? Kushner vs. Finkel?
  21. ^ Vaimoana Tapaleao (9 October 2009). "Be strong, have faith, says Tua". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  22. ^ ""Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers", about.com". Boxing.about.com. 2014-04-10. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  23. ^ "Family Guy 5ACX05 Episode Script | SS". Springfieldspringfield.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 

External links[edit]

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