Here is a recent interview with the one we call The Tuaman.
Why do I like Tua? It's quite simple. He KNOCKS PEOPLE OUT. Brutally. And, I've always enjoyed the small guys with a big punch--Joe Frazier, Rocky Marciano, Mike Tyson, Jack Dempsey, and of course, David Tua. David's left hook was once the most feared punch in the heavyweight division, but does it still have the power to win David a championship?
I have my doubts. As I've said before in a previous blog, David hasn't had a knockout since 2009 when he massacred Shane Cameron in two rounds. He was also officially knocked down for the first time in his career last year against Monte Barrett. Tua's thunderous power and iron chin are evidently fading, which happens with age. I had mixed feelings about David's last fight, when he won a decision over an outgunned novice fighter named Demetrius King. Yes, Tua won the fight. He looked great, and proved that he isn't going to rely only on his powerful left hook anymore. In the fight, Tua was jabbing, working the body, and putting together effective combinations. But if he failed to knock out Demetrius King, how is he gonna knock out Monte Barrett? Tua failed to deck him in their last fight. Instead, it was Tua who found himself on the canvas.
It sounds like Tua knows what's at stake here and is serious. Barrett, however, is a huge threat to Tua. He knows he can withstand Tua's bone-crushing power, and he knows how to box him. Barrett has the psychological edge here. He won their last fight but the judges robbed him.
My Advice To David Tua For This Fight:
Go to work!! Don't waste any time. Go out there and throw punches...lots of them. Fight like Rocky Marciano. Don't give Barrett any room or time to counter. Press him, stay low, and bang him in the ribs, the body, and blast that chin when he drops his hands.
If Tua can dish out 3 minutes of severe punishment in each round, he could brutally KO Barrett, or at least win a clear decision. We need the aggressive David Tua who KO'd John Ruiz in 19 seconds, not the lethargic, lazy David Tua who let himself get schooled by Maurice Wheeler for seven rounds.
Some fighters adapt gracefully to their declining skills. Muhammad Ali managed to squeak out some impressive wins during his final years in the ring. When he lost his quick speed and reflexes, he still found ways to outsmart his opponents, winning against George Foreman, Earnie Shavers, Jimmy Young, and other boxers when he was long past his prime. An aging Joe Louis came out of retirement in 1950 to fight Ezzard Charles for the championship, and did pretty well despite losing the fight, even closing Charles' eye. In fact, Louis was on a roll until getting knocked out by Rocky Marciano the following year. George Foreman went 31-3-0 with 26 knockouts during his second career. Unlike these great fighters, Tua looked bad in the ring as he aged, although his power would bail him out.
Here is my prediction...I think the fight will pick up where the last one left off. Tua will start slow and eat jabs and combinations from Barrett, who will dictate the pace. Last time, Barrett got confident during the middle rounds when he realized he could take Tua's shots. This time, he already knows what Tua has to offer and how to fight him. I expect Barrett to come out with his guns blazing. I think Tua may get knocked out for the first time in his career. If he gets careless, he'll definitely find himself on the floor again. He needs to throw a high volume of punches--one left hook on the chin isn't going to cut it with Barrett.
Tua will be 40 years old soon. The upcoming bout with Barrett is the biggest fight of his career,(disregarding the title fight with Lennox Lewis in 2000).
This fight ultimately depends on Tua's mindset when the bell rings. I'm rooting for him, but based on his recent performances, I think this may be his last fight. I hope I'm wrong, but that's my honest opinion.