Boxing


David Tua Vs. Monte Barrett - A Quick Win For "The Tuamanator," Or Can "Two Gunz" Shoot Him Down For An Upset?

by James Slater - Heavyweight powerhouse David Tua of New Zealand takes the next step in his comeback on July 17th, when he faces the always-game former two-time heavyweight title challenger Monte Barrett in Atlantic City, N.J. Tua, now 37-years-of-age and 51-3-1(43) as a pro, will be having his first fight in America since September of 2007. The questions is, will Tua get himself a quick KO victory, or will the 39-year-old New Yorker known as "Two Gunz" reach deep inside and pull out one last, huge effort and score a big upset?

When this match-up was first announced a while back, I did think the fight had the look of a fast win for the lethal-hooking slugger, and I still feel Tua will win. Indeed, I wondered just why Barrett, 34-9(20) and winless in his last three outings, would agree to such a risky and potentially career-ending fight. For though he has all the heart in the world and though he can crack pretty good himself, Barrett, in my opinion, looks set for his tenth pro loss next month.

Perhaps Barrett, a guy who has never handpicked his opponents, wants to see what he has left at top level, and maybe he decided to take the match with Tua knowing it will be his last fight if he does lose. Wanting, as he once said, "to fire all his bullets before walking away from the sport", Barrett must be applauded for taking this fight as a last effort at doing just that. But is there any way Barrett's "Two Gunz" will get the job done for him against the rock-chinned Tua?

Barrett also once said he hasn't, and doesn't, do well against the really big guys; the giants of the heavyweight division - and stoppage losses to Wladimir Klitschko and Nikolai Valuev bore this thinking out. Tua, as we know, is no giant, and maybe, just maybe, Barrett will be able to get inside on the short and stocky warrior and have some success. Then again, Barrett didn't do too well against David Haye, back in November of 2008 (a fight Barrett was absolutely convinced he'd win), being stopped by the Brit in five eventful rounds. And, as we also know, "The Hayemaker" is no giant of a heavyweight.

Barrett, in all likelihood, will do well to test Tua as hard as he tested Haye (who he at least put down, albeit controversially, before being stopped), and I have to say this fight has the look of a 1st-round win for "The Tuamanator."

The 37-year-old looked great when he launched his latest comeback, against fellow New Zealander Shane Cameron in October of last year, and he followed up the 2nd-round KO with a near shut-out of a points win over a negative Friday "The 13th" Ahunanya in March. Wanting to give it "one more serious" go as he attempts to finally win a heavyweight title that has thus far remained elusive, Tua has kept himself reasonably active.

His weight down to a solid-looking 237-pounds or so, Tua's comeback has the fans divided. Some fans feel he will give any of the three current heavyweight champs a real nightmare, others feel he has left it far too late to try and fulfil the massive potential he showed in the 1990s and early 2000s. It's unlikely a win over Barrett will settle the argument regarding Tua's chances of reigning at age 37/38 (Tua hits 38 in November).

Though he is the taller man at 6'3" to 5'10" for Tua, Barrett has no other noticeable advantage. Look for "Two Gunz" to come out firing as best he can, before he's taken out by either the right handed or left-handed hooks belonging to one of the hardest hitters in today's heavyweight division. Barrett may land a bomb of his own, but against the steel-chinned Tua will it have any effect?

Barrett really is in deep in what could (perhaps should, especially if he does lose) be his final fight.

Article posted on 21.06.2010



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