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Family a priority for Tua

Published: 8:05AM Saturday August 13, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

David Tua will put more than just his credibility as a world-class heavyweight boxer on the line when he steps into the ring with Monte Barrett in Manukau tonight.

There's no doubt the 38-year-old is reaching the twilight of his career and a win is imperative if he's to continue being taken seriously by the boxing fraternity.

But more importantly for Tua, a win is needed to allow him to continue to care for his family, with the fighter left broke following years of legal disputes.

Tua earned $12 million from his 2000 heavyweight title bout with Lennox Lewis, but problematic investments and high legal bills from his battle with former manager Kevin Barry has left the heavyweight homeless, living with his family in his gym.

Tua told ONE News last week that a win against Barrett would be a giant step towards allowing him to put a deposit on his own home.

The Tuaman seemed in good spirits yesterday when talking to media at the weigh-in for the fight and there was no hesitation when he was asked his motivation for taking a rematch with Barrett.

"My family. I've got a family to look after, it's not just about winning fights anymore, it's about living," he said.

"Living for me is about doing the best that I can do at home and the only thing that matters for me is my family."

However a win is anything but a certainty against the 40-year-old American who has already stunned Tua once when they first met last year.

When Tua took the first fight against an aging heavyweight who had lost his last three fights, many expected him to make light work of his opponent, but Barrett shocked everyone when he became the first and only man to knock down the New Zealander in his professional career.

Tua escaped with a controversial draw, but admitted to media yesterday that he feels like he lost the fight.

"In my heart of hearts I thought I did, without a doubt."

The Samoan-born Kiwi will be carrying a bit of extra weight into the fight after he weighed in at 110.8 kilograms, two kilograms lighter than when he fought Demetrice King in March, but three heavier than when he met Barrett in Atlantic City last year.

Barrett gives up 10 kilograms to his opponent, tipping the scales at 100.9 kilograms, a touch lighter than he was when the pair first met.

The weight advantage could provide Tua with a bit more power, but could cause him to tire if the fight goes the distance

Tua, who hasn't registered a knockout since his 2009 demolition of Shane Cameron, said he was 'very happy' withhis weight and overall condition heading into the fight.

"I'm a lot better than the last fight and a lot better than when we last fought in the States, I think everything is a great learning experience and you focus on what's positive and you move on to the next," Tua told ONE News earlier this week.

With his best years behind him, Tua will struggle to attract the attention of high profile fighters overseas unless he can beat Barrett and he has acknowledged that a loss may well spell the end of his 58-fight career.

"Going into this fight and where I'm at in my career, every fight could be my last, so taking that into account this fight means a lot to me."

Tua will headline the card at the Pacific Events Centre, which will also feature up-and-coming New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker

There will be live updates of the fight and the undercard on tvnz.co.nz from 7pm tonight.

Tale of the tape

David Tua

Age: 38
Height: 1.78m
Weight: 110.8kg
Reach: 178cm
Record: 57-53-3-2

Monte Barrett

Age: 40
Height: 1.91m
Weight: 100.9kg
Reach: 198cm
Record: 45-34-9-2

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