Tua camp keen on fight with new champ

BY DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 13:13 15/11/2009
David Haye
AP
NEW CHAMP: David Tua's promoter Cedric Kushner says he would relish his Kiwi charge having a crack at new WBA champion David Haye.

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David Tua's promoter Cedric Kushner says David Haye's win is good for the heavyweight division and he would relish his Kiwi charge having a crack at the new WBA champion.

Haye broke the eastern European dominance of the ranks when he outpointed Russian Nikolay Valuev to lift the world title in one of the key organisations last weekend.

"Change is always good," said Kushner from his New York office, believing there had been a stale feel to the glamour division with the massive Valuev but particularly the Klitschko brothers so dominant.

"Situations like the Klitschkos being in there for the last three to four years ... it's not a healthy situation. I'm not talking ability-wise but from a commercial sense."

He felt the outspoken Haye would also bring some colour and charisma to the heavyweight division.

Haye used radical taunts of Valuev in the leadup to the fight but ultimately backed them up with his actions.

Kushner revealed that he had already had interest from American cable network giant HBO about the possibility of a Haye-Tua fight.

"They would buy the fight. But don't start getting excited because John Ruiz is the mandatory challenger (to Haye)."

Haye has also spoken keenly of trying to unify the heavyweight division by fighting the Klitschkos for their titles - Wladimir has the IBF, WBO and IBO belts and Vitali is the WBC champion.

But Kushner maintained that Tua would welcome a clash with Haye and put some perspective into the current situation with a reminder that Tua had knocked out Ruiz in 19 seconds in New Jersey in 1996. Ruiz has led something of a charmed life since then, claiming two world titles and now looks set to have a crack at another.

As for Tua taking on Haye, Kushner certainly felt there were upsides beyond the Briton's new belt.

"England is a good boxing country in terms of history and attendance. I think it would be a good fight."

Kushner backed Tua's devastating punching power against Haye, a blown up cruiserweight who used clever hit and run tactics to outwit and outscore the clumsy Russian.

But Kushner did pay credit to Haye for his result, admitting he felt that Valuev's massive height and weight advantage would ultimately be too much.

He also noted that the result might go some way to silencing critics of the shorter heavyweights like Tua.

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Kushner continues to work on Tua's next fight, hoping to stitch something together for the new year. He is in Las Vegas this weekend for the WBO welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. It will attract a who's who of boxing and will be an ideal place for networking.

- Sunday News

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