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Tua and Barrett fight to 12 round draw

By Jim Dower: 37-year-old David Tua (51-3-2, 43 KO’s) fought to a 12 round draw with 39-year-old journeyman Monte Barrett (34-9-1, 20 KO’s) at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The final judges’ scores were 115-111 for Tua, 113-113 and 113-113.

Incredibly, Tua, ranked #2 in the World Boxing Organization heavyweight rankings, was knocked down in the 12th and final round by a flurry of shots from Barrett. This came after Tua, perhaps frustrated with himself for not being able to take out the 39-year-old Barrett, threw him to the canvas and was promptly docked a point by referee Randy Neumann.

Following the point loss, Tua found himself getting eaten up by power shots from a now angry Barrett near the ropes. Tua looked surprised and not ready for Barrett’s sudden avalanche of punches. One of the shots landed hard to the side of Tua’s head, sending him down on the canvas. He got up and the two fought back and forth for the remainder of the round, throwing huge bombs and entertaining the fans.

Tua, looking fat around the middle, controlled the earlier rounds of the fight as he loaded up with left hooks and was able to catch Barrett every once in a while. However, Tua was mostly throwing one punch at a time and Barrett usually knew when the shots were coming because Tua would load up before throwing his hooks. Barrett looked pretty timid in the first half of the fight, appearing as if he was fearful of running into something big from Tua.

However, in the 2nd half of the fight, Tua began to wear down, looking tired, throwing fewer punches and sweating profusely. Barrett then began to come on, landing heavy shots from rounds nine through twelve. In the 10th, Barrett hurt Tua with a hard right hand to the head and landed some nice follow up shots. Tua just looked slow, tired and old. He looked nothing like the same fighter he was 10 years ago when he challenged for the heavyweight title against Lennox Lewis in November 2000.

Tua fought reasonably well in the 11th, as he upped his work rate. However, he still looked very tired and overweight. His punches had lost all the steam on them and Barrett looked as if he didn’t wasn’t worried any longer about Tua’s power.
In the 12th, Tua came out fast, loading up with left hooks. However, he wasn’t able to land cleanly and was getting hit with jabs from Barrett.

Frustrated perhaps that things weren’t going his way, Tua threw Barrett to the canvas. Barrett then got up and put together a string of power shots that put Tua down for the first time in his career. To his credit, Tua got up and fought hard for the remainder of the round, but he still was no match for the shots that Barrett was landing.

Overall, Tua looked pretty bad in this fight. Although it’s a good thing that he didn’t lose the fight, because he’ll still likely be able to get a title shot against WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko at some point. However, it’s not a good sign that Tua was hurt, knocked down and unable to take out a fighter that had been stopped in two of his last three fights.

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