David Tua prepares for political life after boxing

David Tua is over his calf injury and set for next month's fight. Photo / Dean Purcell
David Tua is over his calf injury and set for next month's fight. Photo / Dean Purcell

Boxer David Tua wants to set up a Pasifika political party and says he has a burning desire to become an MP after hanging up his gloves.

The heavyweight fighter revealed his political ambitions to media today ahead of his comeback fight with Belarusian heavyweight Alexander Ustinov next month.

The 40-year-old, who has already been working with young Maori and Pacific Islanders, told TVNZ he wanted to set up a Pacific Party.

"My heart and soul is burning with that desire and that fire from within."

Tua told TVNZ he could get young Maori and Pacific Islanders out to vote. He acknowledged his profile would help, saying it was "a miracle".

"I believe when you speak and people know you're a decent person and know you're a genuine person, I believe they'll like you and probably vote for you."

His publicist Greg McCalman said Tua was focused on his upcoming fight.

He told APNZ he was not aware of Tua's political ambitions. but added: "It's probably not beyond the bounds of possibility because David is very proud of his Samoan heritage, he's very into his Samoan heritage, and if he's got an eye on politics within that heritage, that's probably a real definite possibility."

Tua was not immediately available for further comment today.

Other sportspeople have made the move to the political arena in New Zealand as well.

Labour MP Louisa Wall was a former Black Fern and Silver Fern before entering Parliament, while Government-appointed Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is a former champion squash player.

Tua, who has two sons with his separated wife Robina Siteine-Tua, would not be the first boxer to make the move into politics.

Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko, the reigning WBC heavyweight boxing champion, has been a member of the Ukrainian parliament since December last year.

He is the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform political party, which has 40 members in Ukraine's parliament, and is campaigning to become Ukraine's president in the 2015 elections.

Charismatic Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, who has won several world titles, has been a congressman in the Philippines since 2010 and is running for a second term in congress this year.

- APNZ

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