CKP Press Release:
Weighing in for his first bout in two years, a press release from his promoter claims that David Tua came in at what would be for him a svelte 235 pounds, ten less than his 2003 draw against Hasim Rahman. Tua's weight, if correctly reported, would represent the lightest he’s been since 2001 and the second-lightest since 1998. However, the press release may not be accurate. [Editor's note: According to a New Zealand Herald report, Tua actually weighed in at 251, and his opponent, Talmadge Griffis came in at 206.75.]
“I had a good rest, but now my wife is standing over me with a frying pan, so I really need to fight again and make some money,” said Tua, who returns to the ring for the first time in more than two years when he faces American Talmadge Griffis in the 10-round main event on a card presented by Cedric Kushner Promotions tomorrow in Auckland, New Zealand. “I had a tremendous training camp,” said the 32-year-old Tua. “I went back to the basics. I did a lot more roadwork while developing more power in both hands.”
All of which could mean a long–or short–night for Griffis. “Sure I’m a big underdog,” said the 30-year-old Griffis from Colorado Springs, Colo. “But look what happened with Antonio Tarver upsetting Roy Jones, then Glen Johnson upsetting both Jones and Tarver. Griffis has a record of 22-5-3 with 14 knockouts and is considered a tough opponent for a contender fighting for the first time in two years.
“And you can go back even further to Leon Spinks beating Muhammad Ali, ‘Buster’ Douglas stopping Mike Tyson and, just recently, Danny Williams coming out of nowhere to upset Tyson. “Winning this fight is my destiny. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to beat Tua and get instant recognition and be ranked in the heavyweight division.”
Kushner is well aware of the opportunity which awaits Tua if he wins. “If David takes care of business and shows the old Tua form, then I know he’s going to get the opportunity to fight for a world championship sometime soon.”
“I have to go back to the United States after this fight to further my quest for the heavyweight championship,” said Tua, a devastating slugger with wins over two current or former world champions and a record of 42-3-1 and 37 knockouts.
The bout will be televised on Saturday night as part of a pay-per-view show starting at 9 p.m. (Eastern)/6 p.m. (Pacific). The broadcast will inlcude two recent heavyweight bouts of significance: Undefeated and world-ranked heavyweight giant, 7-foot, 325-pound Nicolay Valuev of Germany meets Attila Levin of Sweden and world-rated Sinan Samil Sam of Germany faces Lawrence Clay Bey of Hartford, Conn., in title bouts scheduled for 12 rounds.