David Tua's comeback quest to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title has taken a blow after a mediocre performance against Monte 'Two Guns' Barrett. The match finished in a questionable draw, as the former No. 1 contender struggled to land a decisive blow and was unable to knock over his opponent.
Monte Barrett fought intelligently, landing good combinations and not letting Tua inside to throw any of his bombs. In fact, after the twelve rounds were up, it seemed almost certain that Barrett would take the fight on points after completely dominating the second half of the fight. The judges did not see it this was however, with one scoring the bout 115-111 in favour of Tua and the other two seeing it as a 113-113 draw.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the fight came in the 12th round when Tua was knocked over for the first time in his career. This is quite an astonishing feat when you consider the calibre of fighters who have tried and failed to knock over the big man. These include Lennox Lewis, Ike Ibeabuchi, Michael Moorer, John Ruiz and Hasim Rahman.
It was business as usual early on for Tua as he landed some heavy blows which tested Barrett's chin and would have sent most fighters to the canvas. To his credit, Barrett withstood all of these showing what great condition he was in for this fight.
However from Round Six onwards it was all Barrett as Tua struggled to get inside, standing back and looking for the opening that was never there. Barrett continued to utilise the jab to great effect, never really hurting Tua but doing enough to tally up points.
Tua was deducted a point 1:25 through the 12th round after tossing Barrett to the ground in desperation. He was then knocked down shortly afterwards. This meant that this round alone should have been scored at 10-7 in the favour of Barrett. Taking all this into account it seemed very dodgy that the judges scored the bout the way they did.
Barrett was understandably frustrated in what was his final fight.
For Tua, however, the future is uncertain. His reputation has now been tarnished after being knocked down. The result means very little, too—every who saw the fight knows what happened and that will count against him too.