Celebrated Auckland heavyweight and former world title challenger David Tua, 51-3-2, 43 KO’s looks to shake the shocking image he left with fans around the globe late last year; crumpled on the canvas and badly hurt courtesy of a last second barrage from former contender Monte Barrett. Tua weighed-in a hair over 248 pounds, eleven pounds over what he weighed barely eking out a controversial and near disastrous draw in his last start. Adding an element of drama to the tonnage, his challenger and would be spoiler, Demetrice “Only by KO” King weighed-in at a hefty 276. Both fighters are badly in need of a win, and in particular this will be a make or break proposition for Tua if he hopes to reignite his world title ambitions.
Tua’s WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental heavyweight titles will not be on the line in a bout schedule for ten rounds. The Tua camp understands the assignment in front of them. They acknowledged the ever-present danger of King’s power and a punch that has brought 13 knockouts in the Michigan man’s 15 pro wins.
Tua didn’t back away when asked about the importance of this bout after his near disastrous showing against Monte Barrett in New Jersey eight months ago. “This is a big fight. It’s must-win,” said the 38-year-old who still hopes for another world title shot. For his part, King was contrite; “I’m excited to be here and people have been very respectful to me, despite the fact I’m in his playground”.
“I’ve seen David over the years and I know what I’m up against – he has power, I have power. It’s about who makes the first mistake and who capitalizes on it.”