Boxing: Journeyman may fit Tua bill

By Paul Lewis

The most likely outcome now for David Tua is that he will fight another so-called "journeyman" fighter overseas; ending his Maori TV obligations.

That will leave him free to negotiate the sort of fight - against a rated, credible opponent - that many of his fans have been hoping for since the Shane Cameron bout announced Tua on the comeback trail last year.

Tua is due to meet US heavyweight Monte Barrett on July 17 in Atlantic City. After that, he has one more fight to go to finish his contract with Maori TV.

Because of the money factor, it is likely Tua will quickly find another fighter to meet overseas - with Maori TV screening the fights (against Barrett and the next opponent) back here.

Tua and his associates are able, potentially, to plug into a pay-per-view operator overseas and thus garner more revenue. With the right opponent and the right PPV operator, enough money could be generated to produce a purse able to attract a top-rated boxer.

Tua will surely be interested in quick resolution. Since he fought Cameron, the rocket-like pace of his comeback has stalled a little.

He was supposed to fight US veteran heavyweight Bruce Selden and had other bouts proposed for places like Hawaii, Germany and South America.

So far, little has happened.

Tua cried off from the Selden fight when his mother became ill but, apart from the Barrett bout, there has still been no other fixture announced.

So a possible scenario could be that Tua decides to fight another "journeyman" quickly after Barrett, ending his Maori TV connection and bringing the option of a bout in New Zealand back into play.

The Tua-Cameron fight proved that a fight in New Zealand is capable of generating both the money (both fighters earned $500,000) and the interest and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Tua's third fight this year could be staged here. But such a bout needs a pay per view channel like Sky, which cannot happen while Maori TV is in the way.

The question is: who would be the likely opponent? Would Duco Events, if Maori TV was no longer a player, be back in the frame?

Tua's wife Robina is playing more of a managerial role recently and she has already told other media that fighters like Chris Arreola, Samuel Peter, Shannon Briggs and Kali Meehan were on a list of boxers Tua wanted to fight.

Arreola recently had a title fight against the big Russian Vitali Klitschko who, along with brother Vladimir, are reckoned to be the best heavyweights on the planet at present. Arreola lost to Klitschko and then to boosted cruiserweight Tomasz Adamek recently.

He remains a well-liked fighter and prospect in the US - and he may need a scalp like Tua's to get his own career moving again.

Meehan was rated No3 in the world by the WBA not long ago and the New Zealand-born, Australian-based heavyweight has been interested in meeting Tua for some time.

Briggs and Peter are both tough, proven heavyweights, ideal for getting Tua noticed in the tough but lucrative US market.

- Herald on Sunday

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