Boxing


Tua wins, but Green shines

05.11.06 - By Christian Twiste: This past Friday, Heavyweight David “Tuaman” Tua headlined Gotham Boxing’s card at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, but up-and-comer Mean Joe Green was the rising star, high-lighting the endless ups and downs of boxing. Despite winning by KO in the 7th round, Tua’s performance was lackluster at best against an opponent, Maurice Wheeler, who—with a record of 10-8-1—was also lackluster at best.. Like a shadow of his former self, Tua plodded along throughout most of the fight throwing poor punches and eating a few unexpectedly sharp shots from a pretty game opponent.

While his power appeared to be there when he used it, the Samoan seemed content to pitter-patter away until the middle rounds. Personally, I was unsure if Tua was trying to get some extra work or he was really having trouble with his south paw opponent, but the net affect was that he looked bad in the process—picking poor punches, refusing to throw combinations, holding back on his brutal left, and getting tattooed with a few unexpectedly hard shots that seemed to reveal a new softness in his here-to-fore iron chin.

Overall, the fight was sluggish and slow enough that the lovely ring card girls seated just to my right were stealing the attention of myself and others (not that babes getting a lot attention is particularly surprising)—before Tua’s left hook to the body started to change things in round 4. The damage wasn’t as immediately apparent as the thunderous boom when glove met belly (Wheeler has an ample belly), but as the rounds wore on it became clear Wheeler couldn’t take much more, and Tua dropped him in the 7th with a blow to the liver strong enough to win by KO.

Even so, I don’t see much ahead for the Tuaman. Even though I’m a long-time fan, he looks to be at the end of an under-achieving career. I don’t believe he can take on the likes of Vladimir Klitschko or some of the other top dogs in the division, but who knows? Boxing is a sport where surprises are the usual, and—at the least—Tua can probably play spoiler for some up-and-comers looking to make their mark.

In the meantime, middleweight up-and-comer Mean Joe Green was the undeniable star of the evening (other than aforementioned, very popular ring card girls). Combining talent, speed, and strength, Green won the crowd over by knocking a very game Edison Aguirre down twice in the first round alone. The second shot being viscous enough that the Mexican fighter was laid flat on his back and I don’t anyone in attendance would’ve blamed him for staying there.

Aguirre came to fight, however, and despite being grossly overmatched he pulled himself from the canvas and gave it his best. Unfortunately, his best seemed to be little more than functioning as a live punching-bag for Green, and Aguirre was knocked from his feet several more times before finally staying down.

Green’s record improved to an impressive 13-0, making him a true rising star. At this point, he lacks a little polish, but he’s got all of the tools to succeed and it’ll be interesting to see how far he makes it.

On another note, here’s a couple of photos of the ring card girls I was talking about, are we looking at future Madam Mushroom material in the as-yet-to-be-announced-if-it-ever-gets-announced season 2? Regardless, I cannot over-stress the benefit of having babes at boxing matches; even when the fight sucks, it gives the audience something to cheer for and cheer they did.

Article posted on 05.11.2006



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