Boxing


If Not a Monte Barrett Rematch, Then Whom Should Tua Face?

tuaBy Charles C. White: This past Saturday, in drawing with 39 year old journeyman Charles Davis (now 19-21-3 with 4 ko’s), former heavyweight title challenger, Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett showed little of the skills that once carried him to multiple shots at the most coveted title in all of sports; the heavyweight championship of the world. In his fight prior to the draw with Davis, Barrett got another draw, this time a highly controversial draw, against fellow former heavyweight title challenger David Tua.

Most, if not all, thought that Barrett deserved the nod in this fight. Barrett was set to retire, win, lose, or draw after the Tua bout, but things didn’t pan out that way in the end, thus the fight with Davis. So what is the case with Barrett in the Tua fight? Did Barrett turn back the clock one last time to effectively dominate a comeback Tua, or is Tua on the slide and fading that quickly? A draw with a journeyman such as Davis doesn’t say much for where Barrett is at right now in his career, and the fact that Tua could not quickly dispose of Monte as he was anticipated to do by his fans says a lot about Tua has left as well.. Some would point to Barrett’s draw with Davis and suggest that Tua deserves even less credit for drawing with Monte as it appears that Monte has seen his best days go by. There is no official word on whether or not David Tua and Monte Barrett are to have a rematch as was mentioned late last year, and one can’t help but wonder if Monte’s latest performance has hurt his chances of securing said rematch. So what are some other options for Tua to consider assuming he gets passed his next challenge in Demetrice King? Let’s take a look at the current WBO top 10 and find out.

Sitting atop the rankings in WBO #1 Tomasz Adamek. Adamek is currently booked to fight Wladimir Klitschko later this year, and while he is looking for a tune-up before Wladimir, Tua is not the kind of fighter he is looking for, as there are no similarities between Tua’s and Wladimir’s styles or physicality’s. Next in line would be #3, Alexander Povetkin. A fight between Tua and Povetkin would be highly unlikely as Povetkin has injured his hand in his last fight against Nicolai Firtha, and besides, Alexander’s team seems to be in shambles right now according to some reports. Denis Boytsov, at #4, is also nursing hand injuries, so that rules him out as well. Former heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev, currently ranked #5, is in talks with heavyweight champion David Haye to fight for the WBA title, and if he passes the required medical tests, then that fight looks probable.

Undefeated prospect Odlanier Solis, at #6, is slated to face WBC champion Vitali Klitschko later this year, so that rules out a fight with David. #7, Robert Helenius, is still fairly green in his career, but could be one possibility for Tua as both Helenius and his team have matched him up tough so far in his career, indicating great confidence in his abilities. Next in line is WBO #8, Chauncy Welliver. Welliver has been calling Tua out for months now, and would willing take the fight to prove himself as a top 10 contender. Having built up a great fan base in Tua’s home of New Zealand, Chauncy has the potential to be a lucrative fight for Tua. The winner would be proclaimed New Zealand’s top heavyweight, a title that Welliver has sought after for a long time now, as he considers New Zealand to be a second home. Having gone undefeated in his last 10 fights, albeit against limited opposition, Chauncy Welliver has dropped 50 lbs., and gotten behind a new manager in Roland Jankelson and a new trainer in former world title challenger Joe Hipp, and seems to be taking his boxing career very seriously. Desperate to prove himself, Chauncy would most certainly jump at the chance to match Tua and give the fans a fast paced action fight. At #9 there is Derek Chisora, who is to face Wladimir Klitschko on April 30th, so obviously he is ruled out. Last but not least, there is WBO #10 Alexander Dimitrenko, who is already booked to fight Albert Sosnowski, making him unavailable as well.

So really there are only two viable WBO to 10 contenders for Tua to face assuming he does not rematch Monte Barrett; the still green but highly talented prospect Robert Helenius or the crafty veteran of over 50 professional bouts, Chauncy Welliver. While both fights would be good options for Tua, the Welliver bout makes the most territorial and financial sense, thus being the wisest choice for David. Will Tua go through with his rematch with Barrett, or will he take another route and fight a fellow WBO top 10 contender in Helenius or Welliver? We can only wait and see what happens after his bout with the durable Demetrice King.

For questions and comments, to schedule an interview, or to just chat about boxing, Charles White can be reached at cwhite1078@mysvc.skagit.edu or 360-333-5911.

Article posted on 26.01.2011



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