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Power-puncher David Tua couldn't roll back the years, in front of his fans, at Claudelands Arena, Hamilton, New Zealand earlier today, as his latest comeback ended in defeat.
36-year-old Belarussian, Alexander Ustinov, who stands at 6′ 7½ , got a well deserved unanimous decision over the come backing 40-year-old "Tuaman".
Ustinov boxed well and controlled the fight keeping the much shorter Tua at the end of his punches. Tua, who hadn't fought for over two years lacked the out-put or accuracy to trouble his opponent. The judges scores were emphatic for Ustinov: 119-108, 119-109 and 119-110.
"Tuaman's" celebrated left hook hardly made an appearance, except to very rarely graze Ustinov. The occasional right to the body got through but Ustinov was always one-step ahead and used a double jab, right hand to good effect. Both completed the twelve rounds, in decent shape, but the action hadn't been fought at a high pace. Referee Brad Vocale did a good job and established control of the fight early, so that we weren't subjected to a holding, mauling fight.
I gave, David Tua, three rounds in total but he lacked the urgency to win the rounds and press the action – though at 40-years-old it seemed a case of couldn't rather than wouldn't. Ustinov, to his credit, fought a smart fight and the win puts him back in the world title mix.
The bout was strangely for the vacant WBA Pan African heavyweight title – neither has links to Africa, so no idea why they qualified to fight for the belt. After the fight, David Tua immediately announced his retirement but will probably continue to fight, due to financial necessity, and maybe there are bouts to be made with some of the regions other Heavyweights like Lucas Browne, Alex Leapai and Mark de Mori but realistically a world title challenge has long gone.
Alexander Ustinov's record raises to 29-1, 21 KOs while David Tua's falls to 52-5-2, 43 KOs.