38-year-old David Tua and 40-year-old Monte Barrett may not have delivered a beauty this morning in New Zealand, but they delivered roughly five thousand times more drama than did Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye in their mega-hyped July fight. Barrett survived a dramatic late rally by Tua to hang on for the unanimous decision victory.
Barrett (35-9-2, 20 KO) won on scores of 115-112, 115-112, and 114-113. Bad Left Hook scored it 116-111 for Barrett, who easily controlled the first six rounds of the fight and had Tua (52-4-2, 43 KO) looking like he had absolutely nothing at all left in the tank.
On that note, I will say that Tua doesn't look like he physically has a lot more left, and if you hadn't already written him off as a serious contender (or potential serious contender), you can do that. But I can say with all sincerity that Tua still has a lot of heart left, and in the second half of the fight, with it clear that he couldn't keep up in a boxing match with Barrett, Tua threw caution to the wind and went for the home run.
In the 12th round, he nearly got it. Tua floored Barrett hard on a pair of big shots, and for a moment, it didn't seem that Barrett would get up. But the American veteran made it to his feet, and had about 45 seconds left in the fight that he had to survive. He basically mustered everything he had left in his body to tie Tua up and try to keep the charging Samoan bulldog at bay, and while he barely made it out of the fight, he did indeed make it out.
After the fight, Barrett said he was looking to take a vacation instead of looking for a third fight with Tua, but Tua stated that he wanted the third bout, and says he has no intention to retire. If Tua is just looking to take this level of fight, I say there's absolutely a place for David Tua in today's boxing world. The fights may not be the most significant, but he's still among the more entertaining heavyweight fighters out there.
Barrett, who says he wants to start a career in WWE (it's not happening, and I won't start the lengthy list of reasons why it wouldn't be a success), has really made something of a turnaround with his career. He's been effectively shot for a long time, at least in terms of being compared to what he was at his peak. But he just keeps fighting as hard as he can when he gets out there. If you had told me back in 2007 that Barrett would be winning even this level fight in 2011, I'd have taken that bet and given you great odds. But here he is. It's not the most important win, but it's a big win for Monte Barrett.