Tua: If I can’t beat Barrett, then I won’t get a title shot
By Dan Ambrose: Former heavyweight title challenger David Tua (51-3-1, 43 KO’s) realizes that he has to get by 39-year-old journeyman fighter Monte Barrett (34-9, 20 KO’s) later on this month on July 17th at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. If Tua, 37, wants to get a shot against IBF/WBo heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, then Tua has to beat Barrett and not trip up and get decisioned.
In the past, Tua has done well when matched against B level opposition but then struggled when put in with a good heavyweight that could fight like Chris Byrd, Hasim Rahman, Ike Ibeabutchi and Lennox Lewis. It’s been ages since Tua fought a quality heavyweight, an incredible seven years. That’s a long time for any fighter, and you have wonder about what has held Tua back all those years.
In an article at Stuff/co.nz, Tua said “It’s about winning this one. If you can’t win the fight in front of you, then a title fight is not possible. This is the only step that matters.” Tua is ranked number #2 by the WBO, behind number #1 ranked Alexander Povetkin. Wladimir will be facing Povetkin next in September. However, after that, Tua has a long shot possibility that he could get the next fight with Wladimir. I highly doubt it, because Wladimir wants a big money fight against David Haye.
However, Tua remains an option for Wladimir in case he can’t dig up a good opponent to fight. At only 5’9″, but probably more like 5’9″, Tua would be giving up a lot of height to the 6’6′ Wladimir. With little height and short reach, Tua would have little more than a puncher’s chance at beating Wladimir or his brother WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. Tua’s main concern is his fight against Barrett. If Tua loses that, they he goes back to square one and it will likely take him even longer to get a world title shot.
Tua looked very average in beating Friday Ahunanya by a 12 round unanimous decision in March. Tua had problems with Ahunayan’s movement and seemed to struggle.