Tua-Minator Salvation

By Derek Bonnett: It’s hard not to pick on the heavyweight division these days, but in their defense Vitali Klitschko put together a pretty inspiring effort in disposing of unbeaten Cristobal Arreola on September 26 and is now rumored to be considering a meeting with unbeaten Kevin Johnson on December 12 to close out 2009.

Eddie Chambers, while not the most exciting, has also been showing up in good form his last several bouts and is waiting on a possible bout with the long reigning Wladimir Klitschko after defeating Alexander Dimitrenko. However, the heavyweight, who has been getting a surprising amount of love on various boxing blogs lately is David Tua.

That’s right, the Tua-minator himself. Tua’s record still stands at an impressive 50-3-1 (43) and the Samoan is riding an eight year winning streak since he last lost to Chris Byrd on points. He’s 12-0-1 since the Byrd fight and most recently returned from roughly a two year layoff to stop Shane Cameron in impressive fashion by second round KO.

Don’t get me wrong; Cameron is not the type of victory that warrants a world title shot or even a top 10 ranking, but Tua dispatched his foe in style. He threw excellent combinations. He kept his punches compact and launched them with the same bad intentions that he leveled John Ruiz, David Izon, Oleg Maskaev, Hasim Rahman, Fres Oquendo, and Michael Moorer with in his prime. Most importantly, the thirty-six year old Samoan looked reasonably trim for a no-name opponent after a two year layoff.

So, what does the win warrant Tua? Well, right now, our attention. He’s back on the radar with an exciting win and he deserves another bout, but one of greater significance. No one has ever reproduced David’s dominance over guys like Ruiz and Moorer. Like him or not, he’s probably one of the top 10 heavyweights of the last twenty years and would provide the less experienced contenders of today with a severe test even if he didn’t decapitate them. Odlanier Solis? Johnson? Arreola? David Haye? Anyone willing to take this test?

It’s doubtful we will see Tua-Man make a successful run for the title because, as of now, no one has to fight him. He’s all risk and no reward. To quote Falling Down with Michael Douglas, he’s not "economically viable."

Like Shane Cameron, Tua is not the type of win that takes anyone straight to the title either. Yet, he used to be and could be again if given the right opportunity to land his massive hooks on the chin of anyone in the top 10. Last time I checked, even the man considered number one in the heavyweight division had his detractors due to his brittle beard.

I set my DVR to record W. Klitschko-Chagaev, V. Klitschko-Arreola, and most of the other heavyweight contenders’ bouts of the last year or so. I know a lot of hardcore fans who have done the same. However, if you throw David Tua’s name in front of any number of the heavyweight fighters mentioned among today’s top 10, you’ll find a lot of fight fans gladly canceling their Saturday night plans to sit down and enjoy a contest between the big men of the game.

Last weekend’s Tua Vs Cameron fight is now showing On Demand offerings Click here

October 6, 2009
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