It now seems almost certain - David Tua's next big fight will be the same as his last: against US heavyweight Monte Barrett.

But there will be some significant differences: this fight will be in New Zealand and it will likely carry a worthwhile purse - plus it will confirm the fact Barrett has not retired; and that the Tua title fight campaign is very much alive.

If there are still cynics who believe the Tua train was derailed after his shock knockdown - the first of his career - and draw with the unfancied Barrett, they might like to know Tua was indeed contacted by representatives of Wladimir Klitschko. He is one half of the giant Ukrainian brothers recognised as the best on the planet at present but who are running out of credible contenders.

The fact Klitschko wanted to fight Tua - confirmed by Tua's agent Cedric Kushner in New York this week - shows Tua's star has not dimmed because of his stumble against Barrett.

According to Kushner, the fight against Klitschko (the IBO, IBF and WBO champion) didn't take place because the money offered was ridiculously low.

"The individual I was dealing with took me to task because I hadn't rung him back after the initial approach," Kushner said.

"I said I hadn't called him back because we had nothing to talk about. If you are looking for $2 million - and these figures are hypothetical, so I can make the point - and someone offers you $400,000, then there is no room for negotiation as opposed to if they offer you $1.5 million."

Tua (or any challenger) would want a big payday to take on the best in the world as career hopes after a losing fight can be somewhat damaged.

However, the mere fact Klitschko's camp picked up the phone to Tua shows his hopes have not been damaged too much by the draw with Barrett.

In a perverse way, it may even have helped. Barrett in that fight was a far cry from the journeyman that fought against the UK's David Haye. He had trained well, was sharp and boxed Tua cleverly, making the best use of his height and reach advantage - the very type of opponent Tua has had difficulty with throughout his career.

Barrett made out that was to be his final fight before retirement - but did so well, retirement seemed unlikely. Some said it was never on the cards anyway. A rematch with Barrett will also whet US appetites in a humdrum heavyweight TV market there.

However, while Barrett will be Tua's next big fight, it will not likely be his next contest. That will most likely see Tua matched against an as yet unnamed journeyman boxer, probably in the US towards the end of the year, for his return from his shoulder injury - and that shock draw with Barrett.

There are several reasons for that. First, it makes sense for Tua to test out his injured shoulder against a less threatening opponent.

His next fight will also be the last in his deal with Maori TV. Fulfilling that obligation will then free him to negotiate a more lucrative contract, including taking advantage of pay-per-view TV in New Zealand.

That was what happened in Tua's epic clash with Shane Cameron last year, with both boxers pocketing $500,000 after Duco Events and Sky TV partnered in staging that fight. The same partners could reprise their co-operation, either early next year or maybe in the second quarter.

Barrett is understood to have agreed to make the trip to New Zealand.