By Eugene Carnachan
Heavyweights Shane “Mountain Warrior” Cameron (22 -1, 19 KOs) and David Tua (49-3-1, 42 KOs) have agreed to fight later on this year. Both have signed contracts with promotions company Duco. Ian Fraser, one time head of Television New Zealand, has joined forces with Duco to squeeze as much revenue out of the fight that’s being called “The Fight of the Century”. Tua still holds the honor of bringing in the most viewers to a sporting event in New Zealand history. Over one million New Zealanders tuned in to see his failed attempt to dethrone long time champ Lennox Lewis. Duco have yet to set out a venue and date and both Cameron and Tua are both expected to have tune-up bouts, so in all likelihood their showdown will take place around July or August.
Cameron is taking a warm up bout on March 7 against journeyman Leo Nolan. This fight is scheduled to take place in Cameron’s hometown of Gisborne. Written into Cameron’s contract is that he must win this fight in order of the fight with Tua to go ahead.
Tua is looking at a warm up fight that could take place in either Samoa (Tua’s place of birth) or Tua’s New Zealand base of South Auckland. It is not clear if Tua’s contract contains the same must-win clause as Cameron’s.
Both men have come forward styles and share 64 knockouts between them. Both are known to be hittable, however Cameron in his career has shown a propensity to cut and be hurt by opponents with much less pop than the famed power of Tua. So should it come to a slug out in a dug out, one would expect Tua to win given his set of whiskers has withstood a much higher caliber of opponents.
That said, Cameron is renowned for his work ethic in the gym and should he turn up and move Tua from corner to corner and drag the fight into deep water he could make a contest of it.
Even though months away this fight is garnering big attention from the New Zealand public and for both is a crossroads fight given Cameron ranked number eight by the WBO is putting his regional belts on the line. Should he lose he will drop down the pecking order and for Tua he has much to gain given he isn’t ranked by any of the major bodies and has been largerly inactive due to matters of litigation pertaining to his former managers.