VIDEO: A look back at David Tua
David Tua’s professional boxing career can be described as a tale of 2 Tuas – David ‘The Terminator’ Tua and David ‘The Tuaman’ Tua.
On Friday March 15, 1996 in Atlantic City, NJ, HBO Boxing televised the event known as Night of the Young Heavyweights. In the main event of the evening, undefeated contender Andrew Golota defeated Doc Nicholson by 8th round stoppage. Prior to that match-up, undefeated contender Shannon Briggs suffered his first defeat when he was stopped in round 3 by Darrol Wilson. And prior to that, in the first televised fight on the broadcast, undefeated prospect David Tua stopped John Ruiz a mere 19 seconds into the opening round.
It was a ferocious display of power, and many fans began making comparisons between Tua and a young Iron Mike. Tua had already exhibited big knockout power prior to this big stage event, but this was a big step up in class against Ruiz. Many believed that David ‘The Terminator’ Tua had what it takes to become a future heavyweight world champion. And Tua made a believer out of many more on his subsequent journey that ultimately earned him the status as a mandatory challenger.
After the Ruiz victory, Tua would also score notable wins against David Izon, Oleg Maskaev, and also Hasim Rahman. The fight against Rahman was an IBF eliminator bout, and going into that one, Tua had only suffered one defeat, a unanimous decision loss against Ike Ibeabuchi, but the fight was close, competitive, and highly entertaining. That bout in fact broke compubox records for total punches thrown and landed in a boxing match. And even though Ike got the victory, Tua’s reputation actually improved following his tremendous effort where many observers thought he deserved the victory. Then after beating Rahman in December 1998, Tua was officially the IBF mandatory challenger.
Evander Holyfield was the reigning IBF/WBA heavyweight champion at that time, and Lennox Lewis was the reigning WBC and lineal heavyweight champion. They fought to a controversial draw in March 1999 and would have a rematch later that year in November. Meanwhile, Tua had to wait, as did the other mandatory challengers of the time, Henry Akinwande and John Ruiz. During his wait, Tua did not take any risky fights so he could maintain his mandatory status, and he also started packing on the pounds. And this is when David ‘The Terminator’ Tua had devolved into David ‘The Tuaman’ Tua.
Tua eventually got his opportunity to compete for the world championship in November 2000, when he was thoroughly outboxed and lost a 12 round unanimous decision against Lennox Lewis.
This edition of Rummy’s Corner will provide a quick look back at the two careers of David Tua, The Terminator and The Tuaman. Please watch and enjoy the video for one person’s take. This is Rummy’s Corner.
- Ustinov beats Tua by lopsided decision
- Weights: Tua 236.9, Ustinov 292.9
- David Tua vs. Alexander Ustinov this Saturday in New Zealand
- Tua-Ustinov on November 16th in Hamilton, New Zealand