Boxing: TV deals dictate Tua's choices

By Steve Deane

David Tua wasted little time on Shane Cameron. Photo / Dean Purcell
David Tua wasted little time on Shane Cameron. Photo / Dean Purcell

David Tua will fight again before Christmas but the who, where and when depend on how a messy contractual situation over broadcasting rights is resolved.

Maori TV have a contract to screen Tua's next three fights in New Zealand but the $50,000 per fight fee has been described by Tua's promoter, Cedric Kushner, as an impediment to matching him against a credible opponent.

The promoter of the Fight of the Century, Duco Events, has expressed a desire to promote future Tua fights in New Zealand. They want to bring quality opponents Downunder and stage more shows like Saturday night - an event that attracted a crowd of more than 7000 and generated significant revenues through a record pay-per-view uptake.

It was reported yesterday that Duco director David Higgins had booked Vector Arena for December 13 and had hopes of staging a rematch between Tua and old foe Hasim Rahman. But such a show, Higgins insists, could only be financed with pay-per-view revenue.

"If we can be part of the next fight, as everyone knows, a gentleman called Hasim Rahman wants to fight Tua in December," Higgins said.

"And I believe Tua wants to fight him. If a compromise can occur, then that fight can happen.

"If not, we'll bide our time."

Tua has expressed his desire to continue fighting in New Zealand.

Having spent so much of his career based overseas, he has found the comforts of home suit him.

The proof of that was in the pudding - or more accurately the puddings he didn't eat - as he trained himself into the best shape of his life to face Cameron.

Two scenarios, then, seem likely. Either Tua's management will extract themselves from the Maori TV deal, allowing Duco a free hand to arrange the Rahman fight, or Tua will fight a series of bums in quick succession to free himself from the Maori TV deal.

Both have their appeal.

Trainer Roger Bloodworth believes Tua is ready for a world title fight right now. A win over Rahman or a fighter of a similar pedigree could speed the process.

But it is also a path that entails significant risks.

Rahman is no bum.

The other option, with Tua sharpening up further on some cannon-fodder, also has its attractions.

It would be safe, keep him active and provide a decent timeframe to tee up a world title fight.

It's very much a case of watch this space.

One thing is certain, Tua is once again a valuable commodity. The money men will be circling.

- NZ Herald

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