David Tua was one of the most devastating knockout punchers in all of heavyweight boxing history.
Tua has held numerous records for fastest knockout victories of former heavyweight champions Michael Moorer in 30 seconds and John Ruiz in 19 seconds.
If you have seen Tua in his prime, he not only swung to knock out his opponents but also he swung to punish them and his massive comic book villain-like physique. His ginormous arms and legs allowed him to generate vast power when he would hit his opponents.
In 2003 , The RING magazine ranked him as the 48th greatest puncher of all time.
I actually had the honor of chatting with Tua quite frequently a few years back and he would tell me a lot of great stories about his career, and even the unfortunate downside that the sport of boxing has behind the scenes.
At the peak of Tua's career he was living the good life and he showed me pictures of his Aston Martin and mansion, but at the same time he always made it clear to me that he preferred those who remained grounded and humble.
In fact, Tua told me that if he saw his opponents being too cocky and rude in the pre-fight conferences, then he would take them out even harder.
He told me that in one of his biggest matches (with a fighter I won't mention), he saw that his opponent was being real arrogant and rude to everyone, the media and even his own trainer and team.
So when this opponent began to trash talk him at the weigh-in, Tua whispered into his ear some choice words about what he'll do to him once the bell rang and he said he sensed genuine fear. Of course, that opponent got knocked out early. Very early.
David expressed to me all of the unfortunate things that he encountered in his career, such as the legal and financial disputes that he had with his management and promoters that ended up causing much of his downfall.
He even would tell me how his eyesight was really deteriorating from the damage he accumulated in the ring.
Anyone who's met or talked to Tua knows he's a real down to earth guy, surprisingly enough since he is definitely an amazing beast inside the ring.
One of the discussions we laughed about was how when he was younger and he would be out on a date that no one dared to flirt with his girl since he appeared so intimidating.
So with all of that being said, David Tua would be one elite pugilist that everyone should want to have their back in a bar.