As has been mentioned a number of times on this site, Tua’s career stalled badly under Kushner’s “expert” guidance. The South African born promoter – and I use that term very loosely indeed – did nothing to advance his charge outside of New Zealand. In fact, it was in this column that we suggested that all we could look forward to Tua fighting under the Kushner regime was “a steady stream of has beens, blown up cruiserweights, chumps and bums”. So here we are four years later, able to blow our own trumpet, comfortable in the fact that we were bang on the money.
To be fair to the convicted fraudster and bribe merchant, Tua has hardly been at his peak over the last 10 years. For starters, he inherited a fighter who had already been burnt badly by a dubious managerial unit. But years after that issue had been resolved, watching an out of shape ex-contender struggling through 10 rounds to beat the likes of the 125kg Demetrice King has been a very hard watch. But what has been provided as motivation for Tua?
Oh, that’s right. A title fight with Vitali Klitschko was on offer if Tua had beaten Monte Barrett. Well, not quite Ced. Talks may have been underway, but this was far from a done deal. Just how serious the Klitschko camp would have regarded these talks will never be known. After all, Old Ced had already turned down an opportunity to fight the other brother (Wlad), because – according to Kushner anyway- the money on offer was an insult.
It is safe to say that the way Tua has “progressed” under Kushner the six figures on offer back then would now look mighty attractive – especially for a boxer who, after many decent sized paydays, is still searching for the funds to buy a house.
But if you ever needed any proof of how David Tua’s career has stagnated under the Kushner dynasty, simply list the opponents Tua has come up against over the last 10 years. In chronological order, it will look like this (brace yourself to be severely underwhelmed):-
Garing Lane, Fres Oquendo, Michael Moorer, Russell Chasteen, Hasim Rahman, Talmadge Griffiths, Cisse Salif, Edward Gutierrez, Maurice Wheeler, Robert Hawkins, Saul Montana, Cerrone Fox, Shane Cameron, Friday Ahunanya, Monte Barrett (twice) and Demetrice King.
17 fights in 10 years, with only about three being convincing. That’s an average of 1.7 fights a year for the mathematically challenged amongst us. And I bet most people had previously only heard of Rahman, Cameron (simply because he is a New Zealander), Ahunanya and Moorer. In saying that, when Moorer was floored in thirty seconds in 2002, he was 35 years old, and way past his best.
Some dynasty there Ced. And the kindest thing that can be said about Cedric Kushner as a promoter is that at least he’s not Don King.
But it’s over now, and Kushner can now concentrate on recovering from spinal surgery, and applying the handbrake on someone else’s career. Good riddance.