It should be a busy period for heavyweights in the spring. Wladimir Klitschko is tentatively due to return on March 20 against Eddie Chambers, Vitali Klitschko wants to fight in April or May likely against Nikolai Valuev, David Haye will defend against John Ruiz in March or April, and now the "Tuaman" is scheduled to get in on the action.
For those waiting for Tua, 37, to get back into the heavy action of the division, though, keep waiting. Tua will face Nigerian-born Friday Ahunanya in New Zealand.
"I want to destroy Friday. I want it to be destructive. It has to be because I need people in the States to hear some noise from Down Under," Tua said.
Ahunanya is confident of beating Tua in his backyard. He doesn't only predict victory, he predicts a big win by knockout.
"I’m coming to New Zealand to win. I’m going to knock David Tua out. And if I can’t do that I’ll win the fight on points. Anyone who understands how to box – understands the science of boxing – can beat David Tua. And I’ll prove it," Ahunanya said.
Ahunanya (24-5-3, 13 KO) lives in Las Vegas these days and never quite got to the top levels of contention. He's got losses to Sergei Lyakhovich, Lance Whitaker, Taurus Sykes, Sultan Ibragimov and Alexander Povetkin. He's won two in a row, beating Shane Cameron (Tua's easy pickings win earlier this year) and Alonzo Butler, taking the unbeaten records of both. Whitaker is the only fighter to ever stop Ahunanya.
But he also hasn't been very active. He beat Cameron in November 2007, and Butler in June 2008. He's a part-time fighter at best, and at six-feet tall, he doesn't have the one natural weapon that keeps Tua at bay, which is height.
Tua (50-3-1, 43 KO) isn't terribly active himself, and he keeps talking about making another serious run in the division, but right now he's stuck in New Zealand. It's kind of too bad for him. His smashing of Cameron was predictable but made some waves, and for all his faults, Tua still punches like hell and is an aggressive guy. There was talk of matching Tua with Cristobal Arreola, but Tua priced himself out of that one.
And pricing too high leads me to believe that Tua's talk might not be much more than that: talk. A win over Arreola would have put him right in line and gotten him back on the American radar. Right now, he's not there. There were also rumblings that Tua might fight in Atlantic City in February, but now that would be off, too.
Tua will probably get good money for the fight, and it should be a fairly easy win for him. Maybe after that he'll throw himself into the title picture, but we'll see. And I wouldn't go expecting it.