Tua (born Mafaufau Sita: November 21, 1972) is a Samoan New Zealander
former professional boxer,often regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights
never to win a world title. Known for his brutal punching power, especially
in his left hook, he scored sixteen knockout wins inside of the first
round, and finished world heavyweight champions John Ruiz and Michael
Moore within thirty seconds, as well as late stoppages of other world
champions Oleg Maskaev and Hasim Rahman. Nicknamed the "Tuamanator",
his fast paced bob and weave pressure fighting style has often drawn
comparisons to Mike Tyson. Tua's professional career spanned 21 years,
during which he fought many of the best fighters of the era and challenged
for the WBC, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles. He currently resides
in his adopted country of New Zealand, where he runs a boxing gym.
In his early career Tua trained three days a week at a small
gym in Mangere bridge, under boxing trainer Gerry Preston. Tua became
New Zealand national heavyweight champion in 1988 at age 15.
the 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships, he was surprisingly knocked
out in the first round by three time Olympic gold medalist Felix Savon.
At age 19 he won a Bronze Medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
He lost his semi final to David Izonritei, whom he would later defeat
as a professional. Tua turned professional later the same year.
Tua debuted in December 1992 and soon became internationally
respected for having one of the most devastating left hooks in world
boxing and for his ability to end fights early and to dish out severe
punishment. Of his first 27 fights, 23 were won by knockout.
known for his devastating knockouts. In his 1997 fight with Ike Ibeabuchi,
the two fighters combined to set the record for most punches thrown
in a heavywight fight on record. Ibeabuchi won the decision, handing
Tua his first pro defeat. Prior to the loss, Tua had devastating KO
wins against future titlist John Ruiz (via 1st round KO, in only 19
seconds) and Darroll Wilson. Tua also beat David Izon and future champion
Oleg Maskaev to set up the fight with Ibeabuchi. After the loss to
Ibeabuchi, Tua took on future champ Hasim Rahman and TKO's Rahman
in the 10th round. The victory over Rahman marked the beginning of
Tua's struggles with his weight. He ballooned up to 253 pounds when
he defeated Obed Sullivan in 2000 by KO. Later that year, he weighed
245 pounds in the loss to Lennox Lewis. Tua was disappointing in the
fight, with both fighters avoiding each other and Tua not throwing
combinations. Tua lost a clear cut decision.
Tua fought for the
WBC, IBF, & IBO heavyweight titles in November 2000, and went
the distance in a 12 round bout, but lost on points by a wide margin
to defending champion Lennox Lewis.
Following the Lewis loss,
Tua regained steam with a KO over Danell Nicholson but lost by a close
decision in his next fight to future champion Chris Byrd. In 2002
he beat propect Fres Oquendo and demolished Michael Moorer in his
next fight with a powerful shot 30 seconds into the first round, which
put Moorer out cold. In 2003 he drew in a 12 round rematch with Rahman.
Tua was inactive for over two years before he stepped into
the ring on March 31, 2005 and bested Talmadge Griffis in a 10 round
bout, ending the match and earning a TKO victory with 26 seconds remaining.
Tua's next contest in October 2005 ended in a split decision over
Cisse Salif with Tua dominating in the late rounds.
Edward Gutierrez by knockout in the fourth round of a scheduled 10
rounder on July 26, 2006. The fight was held at the Manhattan Center
ballroom in New York City, and featured on ESPN2. Tua started slowly,
scored a knockdown with his famous left hook in the second round,
and put Gutierrez down for the count in the fourth round.