Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Opinion: Tua - Ahunanya

Tonight, former heavyweight title challenger and the #3 ranked heavyweight by the WBO, David “The Tuamanator” Tua faces former challenger, and also Shane Cameron head-splitter, Friday “The 13th” Ahunanya. This is the first fight for Tua since he dismantled Shane Cameron in just over a round last October and a continuation of what must be his last shot at heavyweight glory. The bout, at the Waitakere Trusts Stadium (chur!), is surely a ‘must win’ for both and a loss would signal an affective end to their professional careers.

Boxing, is not a sport of logic. For instance, if A beats B and B beats C then surely A must beat C? Not so. Take the welterweight division. Miguel Cotto decisioned Sugar Shane Mosley, Cotto was then stopped by Antonio Margarito. Margarito was, of course, then heavily favored over Mosley. The result? Sugar Shane ftw. Illogical. So, after Ahunanya TKO’d Cameron in the last round in what was a “fairly even” contest then Tua beat Cameron like he stole something, then it must go that Tua would wax Ahunanya. Relativity. However, let’s take a closer look….

DAVID TUA 50-3-1 (43 KOs)

The only way to begin to talk about Tua’s strengths is in highlighting the left hand. Tua’s left hook has closed the show on many credible heavyweights including the 19 second dicknailing of John Ruiz. That’s right. Bitch. Despite fighting most of the best heavyweights over the past decade (and being a two time titleholder) this remains the only stoppage loss on Ruiz’s ledger. This weapon ranked Tua as the 48th greatest puncher of all-time (all-time!!) according to Ring Magazine.

Tua’s chin has also been the divisions best for a long time. The last time Tua was off his feet officially in a contest was when he was stopped by Cuban legend, and three time Olympic gold medallist, Felix Sevon at the 1991 World Amateur Champs. He has weathered punchers such as Ike Ibeabuchi, Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman all whilst never taking a backwards step.

Tua also has the edge in competition faced over his career with a bevy of former, future and one present champs faced. His only losses have come at the hands of Ike Ibeabuchi, Lennox Lewis (for the title) and Chris Byrd (a titlist). He drew in the return Rahman (also a titlist) fight but had stopped him in the first.

Tua’s major problem has been his inactivity, whether it takes him a couple of years to comeback and face a standing corpse or whether he stands in the ring not throwing anything. His laziness is well documented and his physical condition can be suspect at best. He first turned pro weighing 200 pounds however he has come in as high as 253 and shaped like a bag of water. He officially weighed in at 240 but looks a lot harder than he did in his last bout against Cameron where he weighed 237. 240 is heavy for Tua, how effective that 240 is remains to be seen.

Even though he possesses one of the best left hands ever, Tua is one-dimensional and can be easily out-boxed. As previously noted, because of the condition he comes into fights in, he can also have problems catching opponents that can move around the ring (although he does carry his power late).

Currently, Tua is ranked 3rd in the world by the WBO, it must be noted that the WBO isn’t all that credible. I could be ranked by the WBO, if I wanted to. It’s just that I don’t wanna.


Outstanding defence seems to be the calling card of fighters from Africa and it is no different in Ahunanya. A great chin (never knocked out), from a guy who holds his hands high and has some decent head movement, is always going to be a tough cookie to crack. Even when he appeared to be wobbled by Cameron, Friday just wouldn’t sit down. Apparently Tua and Ahunanya have sparred before and Tua was only able to floor him once and never hurt him. If Saturday night is just all right for fighting then Friday must have been born to take a punch.

Although he is defensively weighted, Ahunanya possesses a strong jab and is an effective counter puncher. Even though he appeared overmatched against Cameron, he countered him silly before turning out the lights.

Friday’s training camp also seems like it was better than Tua’s. For instance, Tua sparred with second tier heavy Israel Garcia whilst Ahunanya sparred with former champs Sam Peter and Hasim Rahman. Compounding that, even though he hasn’t fought in nearly two years, is the fact that Friday has a far better recent resume of opponents. Never mind the fact that he lost to everyone that mattered. His last two bouts were wins against undefeated opponents (Alonzo Butler and Cameron).

The quality of Ahunanya’s RECENT opponents trumps Tua’s, by a long shot. Tua’s last bout against good opposition was a 2003 draw against Hasim Rahman. Since 2003, Friday has faced names which include Dominick Guinn, Sultan Ibragimov and Alexander Povetkin. However, it must be noted that he hasn’t won against a top-tier decent opponent. Neither Cameron nor Butler are world class and his best result was the 2005 draw with Guinn.

Ahunanya can be a little defensive for his own good. He likes to counter punch out of the guard and can look unwieldy when aggressive. Against Tua, he can not afford to be sloppy or overly defensive. A fraction of a second is all it takes to put your fuse out.

Despite being a physical strong guy Ahunanya’s power is not intimdating. His stoppage of Cameron aside, he has never stretched out anyone of note. Friday is more likely to be the end of your week than the end of your night.

By fighting in Tua’s hometown, and considering the state of boxing judging in New Zealand, it would be hard to imagine Ahunanya winning a decision. Despite countering Cameron for a good portion of the fight, he was still behind on the cards. Unlike the cars I drove when I was a teenager, you just not gonna be able to dent either Tua nor Ahunya. No matter how recklessly you drive. Which “logically” means this fight will go to the cards.

Tua decision.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Opinion: Cameron - Hopoate

Next Thursday’s showdown between cardboard heavyweight Shane Cameron and former league international and sexual assault enthusiast (yes, violating someone without their consent is considered sexual assault) John Hopoate is a joke. A BAD joke. Unfortunately, this is a fight for the bogans with neither competitor being skillful and both just running on faded name. I can’t tell you how much this kind of ‘circus fight’ disgusts me. I would rather take a sharp kick in the pills than have to pay the $24.95 necessary to watch this bullshit. Bullshit!! If you are excited for this fight then you truly have no appreciation for boxing skill and clearly just like fighting. I am willing to bet that your favourite part of a rugby or (most likely) rugby league game is when they actually stop playing the game you are watching to fight. Which constitutes cheating and requires no skill. Classless. For shame.

Blah blah blah March 18th at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

SHANE CAMERON: (23-2, 20 KOs)

Cameron really has no outstanding attributes, he has ok power but tends to wear guys down rather than being able to out and out blast someone. When he has someone hurt, he can always find another gear to put them away and he is always in good condition.

The Mountain Warrior’s body attack has been his biggest development of late with him able to straight rip Robert Davis (the last opponent has was able to throw a punch against) to the mid.

Although only a comparative strength, he has faced far better opposition than Hopoate with most of his wins being over mid-range journeymen. His stoppage over Bob Mirovic was impressive although Hopoate has also stopped and decisioned the same opponent

Cameron has middle of the road skills which are only saved by his conditioning and his belief that he is better than what he really is. I have never seen a fighter dupe a public so bad into believing they were going to be something. Unfortunately, the bogan public are only too willing to believe that a white fighter is going to be great. He truly is “The Great White Hope for the Great White Dopes”.

Coupled with his average skills, Cameron’s punch resistance falters somewhere after something stronger than a wet fart. Ahunanya was able to counterpunch Cameron well and just wore him out with only mild power. Tua, although one of the most powerful heavyweights ever, barely even set his feet when he punched and Cameron was on the deck. He was lucky to escape the first round. If that isn’t bad enough, Cameron bleeds in strong winds and has been fortunate on a couple of occasions not to be stopped on cuts.

Anyone who tells you that Cameron is anything more than a one-dimensional journeyman is a delusional fool.

JOHN HOPOATE (12-4, 11 KOs)

Hopoate’s major attribute is his power, although he just blows everything in the first couple of rounds. He tends just to bull people around the ring, relying on his early strength.

Other than this, well….um….he was Australian Heavyweight Champ, which is something (I guess?).

Hopoate’s record is a complete illusion. Complete. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s “break it down one time”. The overall record of Hopoate’s beaten opponants stands at 107-109-9, not even a winning record and includes four guys who had never even won a fight. That’s not even the worst news, of all of Hopoate’s conquerers (with an accumulated 86-38-2 record), only two have a winning record. He lost a decision to the 1-4-1 Brian Fitzgerald and then was ktfo’d in one round by a fighter on debut (although he was the former Australian kickboxing champ). That’s right. Bitch.

Hoppa’s power is also deceptive as he tends just the blow out early, he only has one stop after five rounds and Colin Wilson, who knocked him on his face last October, only had to survive the opening three before he could blast his poorly conditioned foe.

Aside from never beating anyone of note and having “bully power”, Hoppa’s chin is equally as crap. Of four losses, he has been stopped in three with 45 year old Oliver McCall the only notable conquerer.

If Cameron can’t blast Hoppa out within a couple, then he is worse than I give him credit for. Hopoate’s name isn’t even synonymous with boxing and presents an uncouth bully with no skill to speak of. Cameron’s grit and (comparative) class shouldn’t see this one go further than the third round.