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Will David Tua ever Fight for a Heavyweight Title Again?

By Jim Slattengren: It’s hard to believe that it’s been nine long years since heavyweight David Tua (49-3-1, 42 KO’s) last fought for a title, losing a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision against Lennox Lewis in November 2000. At the time, it seemed almost a given that the hard punching Tua would be back in no time for a title another title shot against Lewis, or against one of the other heavyweight champions.

However, Tua’s career fell apart shortly after that defeat as Tua became mired in managerial and problems with his weight. Tua has fought only 14 times in the past nine years since the loss to Lewis, and hasn’t achieved anywhere near what some boxing experts thought he would.

It’s hard to imagine now that Tua will ever fight for another world title, because so many years have gone by and he’s been out of things for so long. Tua still has his power, but that was never his problem. His problem was that he wasn’t fighting anyone. When Tua has chosen to fight in recent years, he’d opted to take on lesser opponents.

Tua has always lived and died by the knockout during his 17-year pro career. At 5’10”, Tua doesn’t have the height and reach that most other heavyweight contenders have. So instead, Tua has been reliant on working his way to the inside where he could land his big shots.

Earlier in his career, Tua was capable of firing off a series of lighting fast combinations that reminded one of Mike Tyson in their speed and power. However, as the years have gone by, Tua’s ability to throw combinations has diminished to the point where he throws mostly one punch at a time.

He’s still got a log of power in his single shots, but without throwing the combinations like he did earlier in his career, Tua is much less dangerous a fighter. For Tua to be effective against the better heavyweights, he has to be able to throw combinations because he won’t be able to beat them using one punch at a time.

In a fight that means little outside of New Zealand, Tua will be taking on Shane Cameron for the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental heavyweight titles. Hopefully, Tua won’t be content with this fight and will continue to move forward against better opponents than this. It’s been six years since Tua fought a heavyweight contender, fighting to a 12 round draw against Hasim Rahman in 2003.

It’s frankly mind boggling that Tua has let six years go by between fighting a top ranked opponent. It’s not that Tua hasn’t been fighting since then, because he has seven times in fact, but Tua has taken things unusually slow, fighting one tune-up opponent after another.

After battling weight issues off an on, Tua looks to be in the best shape in years. He looks in excellent shape for a fighter that has been out of the thick of things for so long. However, it won’t mean anything unless Tua wins the fight against Cameron and moves forward with his career.

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