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Tua-Barrett on July 17th

By Jim Dower: Heavyweight contender David Tua (51-3-1, 43 KO’s) will be stepping up the quality of his opposition ever so slightly on July 17th when he faces former heavyweight contender Monte Barrett (34-9, 20 KO’s) at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It’s been ages since the 37-year-old Tua has faced a live body – some seven years since his fight with Hasim Rahman in 2003. Barrett, while not a 1st tier heavyweight anymore, will still be a step up for Tua from what he’s been facing in the seven years.

However, with Tua’s #2 ranking in the WBO, I would like to have seen him matched a lot tougher than this. It would be a scary thought that Tua could possibly go from beating the likes of Barrett into a title shot against IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. I’m still not clear on why the WBO decided to place Tua at number #2 in the division, when he’s basically zero for so many years by beating any credible opponents. In Tua’s fight with Rahman ended in a 12 round draw in 2003. Klitschko destroyed Rahman in a 7th round stoppage 2 years ago in 2008.

It’s doubtful that Tua, if he beats Barrett in July, will get a shot at Wladimir’s WBO title. Most likely, Tua is going to have to stay busy by fighting and beating a two or three more opponents before he finally gets a shot against Wladimir. It could be awhile before he finally gets a shot. But hopefully, Tua is put in with some top tier opposition so we can get a good judge of how much he has left. Tua defeated Friday Ahunanya by a 12 round decision in March.

It wasn’t a great performance from Tua, who seemed to have problems with the movement that Ahunanya was using in the fight. I can only imagine how much problems Tua would have if he was matched against Wladimir Klitschko. I think Tua would be badly destroyed by Wladimir. That probably isn’t the heavyweight that Tua should be gunning for. Instead of Wladimir, Tua needs to go after WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, who is perceived by many boxing fans and experts to be the weakest of the heavyweight champion by far.

The 5’10” Tua would have a real chance of putting Haye down for the count if he could land anything at all in the fight. Tua would have to chase Haye down, because he would obviously be running for his life, but once Tua landed something big, he could flatten Haye. If Tua is smart, he’ll go after Haye and not waste his time by fighting and probably losing to Wladimir or his brother WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.

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