David Tua (l), knocked down for the first time in his career by Monte Barrett in his last fight.

By Johnny Walker

Heavyweight contender David “Tuamanator” Tua of New Zealand still hopes to get a shot at some version of the heavyweight title.  Tua, 37, known for his lethal left hook and iron chin, was shockingly knocked down for the first time in his long career last time out in July against heavy underdog American Monte Barrett in Atlantic City. 

Tua later claimed that a shoulder injury had prevented him from properly preparing for the bout, an exciting draw that many fans felt Tua had actually lost. 

According to Tua’s promoter Cedric Kushner, the Tuamanator plans to fight twice more before challenging for a world title (if all goes well, that is).   Possible future bouts include a Barrett rematch (which Tua would certainly have to win by knockout in order to make up for last time), and fights with Hasim Rahman and/or (say it ain’t so!) Evander Holyfield

Many have jumped off the Tua bandwagon after the Barrett fight, and it remains to be seen if wins against ageing opposition like this will get them back on board. 

With Tua giving up considerable size, a fight against one of current champs Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine seems like a suicide mission; Britain’s David Haye might be a better prospect for Tua, but the WBA paper champ is adamant that he is retiring in a year’s time, not leaving Tua enough time to get in his much-needed preparation bouts.

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