David Tua’s professional boxing career can be described as a story of 2 Tassels – David ‘The Terminator’ Tua and David ‘The Tuaman’ Tua.
On Friday, March 15, 1996 in Atlantic City, NJ, HBO Boxing televised the event called Night of Young Heavyweights. In the main event of the evening, invincible Andrew Golota defeated Doc Nicholson in the eighth round. Before that match, undefeated Shannon Briggs suffered his first defeat when he was stopped by Darrol Wilson. in round 3. And before that, in the first televised match to be broadcast, undefeated prospect David Tua stopped John Ruiz just 19 seconds in the opening round.
It was a devastating display of power, and many fans started comparing Tua and the young Iron Mike. Tua showed great knockout power ahead of this big theatrical event, but this is a huge step up from Ruiz. Many believe that David ‘The Terminator’ Tua has what it takes to become a future heavyweight world champion. And Tua made more people believe in his next journey, which ultimately earned him the required challenger.
After the victory over Ruiz, Tua also had notable wins against David Izon, Oleg Maskaev and Hasim Rahman. The fight against Rahman was an IBF elimination match, and going into that bout, Tua suffered only one defeat, a unanimously decisive defeat to Ike Ibeabuchi, but the fight was close, competitive and bearing highly entertaining. That fight in fact broke the compubox record for the total number of punches thrown and landed in a boxing match. And although Ike got the win, Tua’s reputation really improved after his massive effort, where many observers deemed him well-deserved. Then, after defeating Rahman in December 1998, Tua officially became an IBF mandatory opponent.
Evander Holyfield was the defending IBF/WBA heavyweight champion at the time, and Lennox Lewis was the WBC heavyweight and linear heavyweight champion. They fought a controversial draw in March 1999 and will have a rematch later that year in November. Meanwhile, Tua has to wait, as do the other mandatory challengers at the time. that point, Henry Akinwande and John Ruiz. In the meantime, Tua doesn’t risk fighting in order to maintain his mandatory status, and he also begins to gain weight. And this is when David ‘The Terminator’ Tua turned into David ‘The Tuaman’ Tua.
Tua finally had a chance to compete for the world championship in November 2000, when he was completely eliminated and lost in the decisive 12th round to Lennox Lewis.
This edition of Rummy’s Corner will provide a quick look at David Tua’s two careers, The Terminator and Tuaman. Watch and enjoy the video for one participant. This is Rummy’s Corner.