I like David Tua. I shared the dream once. I threw him up as another fighter Tyson ducked in his shambolic 1990’s reincarnation. He shook up heavyweights; he was fast, dangerous and busy. Obviously, that was all before he got his mandatory ranking, hibernated and then froze versus Lennox Lewis – since then he’s been dormant, injured, uninterested – but is now repackaged, remotivated and back in the lucrative American market, or so he hopes we believe. But Pay-Per-View at $24.95 against Monte Barrett, the guy who lives in a tent in front of the heavyweight top 25 towers, is available on 24 hour call out and has a key emblem on his nightwear? Really?
Granted Tua remains something of a draw to those old enough to remember his demolition of John Ruiz, rumble with Hasim Rahman and dust up with Ike Ibeabuchi – crikey a while since I typed that name, I’m told you should never type it three times in front of a mirror – but to suggest he remains a pay per view attraction is to stretch his viability as a heavyweight contender in 2010 to its maximum, and probably beyond. He is mid-thirties after all and far removed from his thundering prime, as he’s captured above.
Pay per view no longer seems to be beholden to a fight’s gravitas or the repute of its protagonists just merely a method of financing fights that only the hardcore boxing fan would be willing to sponsor. I wish both guys luck and with a presumed victory, David Tua will continue his tiny steps toward contention. The publicity shots circulated of him today, though he was breathing in, looked encouraging and in the desperate heavyweight division he could yet cause a gasp among those leading the blighted weight class. For all the much-discussed limitations of the Ukrainian siblings, I very much doubt it. However, on the senior tour to which he is now eligible he’ll remain a curiosity for a year or two yet. And with the money squandered over the past decade through mismanagement of his career, we can assume he’ll rumble on for a good while yet.
Tua v Holyfield after this perhaps?