There's something about: David Tua, Boxer

Boxer David Tua. Photo / Andrew Cornaga
Boxer David Tua. Photo / Andrew Cornaga

The Tuaman was born, gloves on, nearly 41 year ago, on November 21, 1972, in Samoa. His family (Inga the Winger Tuigamala is a cousin and mate) later emigrated to New Zealand and, in 1988, Tua became our national heavyweight champion at the tender age of 15.

Four years later, at 19, he boxed for New Zealand at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, winning a bronze medal. He turned pro later the same year. Managed by former boxer Kevin Barry, he would fight 27 bouts over the next eight years (during which time he famously asked for an "O for awesome" on TV gameshow Wheel of Fortune) before finally earning the right to fight defending champ Lennox Lewis for the WBC, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles in November 2000. With a haircut that made him look a troll doll, Tua hardly laid a paw on the taller Lewis and lost, big time, on points. This marked a decline.

Tua fought seven more time in the next three years (losing once more and drawing another) before retiring. In 2003 Tua and Barry fell out and in 2005 he took Barry and business manager Martin Pugh to court, with both sides winning and losing the drawn-out legal scrap. As of today, Tua has fought 58 times, winning 52, losing four and drawing twice.

He fights Belarusian giant Alexander Ustinov in Hamilton tonight, making it his third comeback (his last ended with a loss to Monte Barrett two years ago) and possibly his last chance saloon.

- NZ Herald

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