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Barrett Exposes Rust on Tua

David Tua vs. Monte Barrett Results & Recap; What does it mean for Tua?

After boxing his way to a Majority Draw against Monte Barrett, there is only one conclusion to draw about David Tua: the guy has a thick layer of rust to shake off. Weighing in at a relatively trim 237 lbs., the 5’10” Samoan slugger looked sluggish at times and unable to find the timing to squarely nail Barrett with his wrecking ball punches. For his part, Barrett boxed well, but his mobility was limited and his jab wasn’t much of a stick. Tua was certainly not intimidated by it, and it seemed to be more of the Samoan’s inability to pull the trigger than the stiffness of Barrett’s jab that held Tua back. If Tua had been in the ring with either Klitschko, he would have been in seriously trouble from the opening bell.

The fight was basically a snoozer until the end, and although Barrett was stung by Tua’s power, at no time was he truly wobbled or hurt. Sensing that he might lose the fight, Tua came out in the 12th determined to knock Barrett to the canvas. Such resolve earned Tua a 12th Round knockout against Oleg Maskaev, but it was not to be against Barrett. First, Tua threw Barrett to the canvas, resulting in the loss of a point for a flagrant fowl. Next, Barrett felled Tua with a flurry of rights punctuated by a left fired from off the ropes, the first time Tua had been down in his entire career. Ironically, it was that knockdown that cost Tua the fight. The scores were read out 115-112 for Tua, and two for a Draw at 113-113. Without a 10-7 Round for the knockdown and fowling, Barrett would have lost the fight even if he had won the 12th Round.

David Tua needed a decisive victory to re-establish himself as a heavyweight contender, and he failed. There is the bright spot that Tua is merely rusty, but that 12th Round knockdown is disturbing. If Tua wants to compete for real, he needs to get busy and stay that way, with at least four fights in the next 12 months. Ironically, the weak performance might just make it much easier for him to get a big fight with Wladimir Klitschko or David Haye, since it makes him look vulnerable. If he is wise, Tua will wait until he is properly refinished before taking on either of those two.

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Richard Thomas has been in and out of boxing gyms in Kentucky, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Thailand and for a quarter century, and writing about boxing since 1997. A passionate devotee of the sport, he is as keenly interested in boxing history as he is in the latest bout. He currently lives in Europe, and is also the owner and Managing Editor of The Whiskey Reviewer.