Tua knows win vital to title aspirations
NZPA - July 16, 2010, 11:37 am
New Zealand heavyweight boxer David Tua is putting his dream of another world title shot to the back of his mind as he prepares to face American Monte Barrett on Sunday (NZT).
Tua, 37, knows a win in the New Jersey seaside resort of Atlantic City is vital to those title hopes.
"Every fight from here on is very important," he said.
"I need to win it. Certainly it would be great to look ahead and think about another shot at the title, but if I can't win this fight, then fighting for the world title means nothing."
Tua and Barrett will both put unbeaten records at Atlantic City on the line when they face off in a 12-round contest, for which Tua's World Boxing Organisation Asia-Pacific and Oriental belts will be up for grabs.
Tua has won all 13 of his bouts there, 12 via knockout.
"I'm happy to be fighting back in Atlantic City, where I have had much success throughout my career," he said.
"I'm looking for a strong test from Monte. All my focus is on this fight and this fight only. Right now. I just can't wait to get into that ring."
Three of the fighters he has beaten in Atlantic City have held a world title -- Michael Moorer, Oleg Maskaev and John Ruiz.
The big-hitting Tua took a mere 30 seconds to dispose of Moorer, while he demolished Ruiz in just 19 seconds.
The Samoa-born Aucklander has a career record 51 wins (43 three by knockout), three losses (all by points) and a draw.
He weighed today in at 107.7kg, similar to what he was in his two comeback fights after a two-year spell out of the ring.
He shed 26kg before knocking out compatriot Shane Cameron in Hamilton last October and scored a unanimous points decision over Nigerian Friday Ahunanya in Auckland in March.
Tua said he had a great training camp, and was focused and ready to go.
He said he wouldn't be taking Barrett for granted, saying the North Carolina-born New Yorker would be well prepared for the fight at the Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Barrett's 100 percent record in Atlantic City comes from seven bouts, of which five ended inside the distance.
In all, he has fought 43 times, for 34 wins (20 by knockout) and nine losses (five by knockout).
Like Tua, who lost to Lennox Lewis on points in 2000, Barrett has had a world title shot. He was stopped by Nikolay Valuev in the 11th of 12 rounds in 2006.
Barrett, 39, weighed in at 102.1kg.
At 1.91m, he stands 13cm taller than Tua and will also have a significant reach advantage.
He goes into the contest after three successive losses, one of them against present World Boxing Association world champion David Haye.
Nicknamed Two Gunz, Barrett announced this week that he would hang up his gloves after this weekend and he wanted to finish with a flourish.
"Win, lose or draw, this is going to be my last fight and I'm looking to go out with a bang, not get banged up," he said.
"I want to end my career on a high note and everyone will see how prepared I am to do that."