The new player in New Zealand fight game promotions has launched a bid to lure David Tua out of retirement.
Sky Arena has brought together some of the world's biggest name boxers for tomorrow's Super 8 heavyweight knockout tournament, at Auckland's Trust Stadium.
Arguably the biggest attraction in the last-man standing extravaganza for a $500,000 purse, will be former world champion Hasim ''The Rock'' Rahman.
And Rahman has signed a contract with Sky Arena for a fight later this year in Auckland. The US superstar has agreed to fight either Tua, Kali Meehan or Shane Cameron if they are available for the bout.
It is believed Rahman - a former WBC, IBO and IBF heavyweight champion - would prefer to fight Tua because he feels he won their first two fights.
In 1998, Tua stopped Rahman in the 10th round after stunning him after the bell in the ninth. Their 2003 fight was ruled a draw.
Rahman was lined up for a third meet with Tua in 2009 after the Kiwi world title contender beat fellow countryman Shane Cameron in the ''Fight of the Century''. But the bout never happened.
''He [Rahman] wants to fight Tua because he thought he won both fights and he wants that win on his record,'' Super 8 spokesman Mark Keddell said.
''He would love to fight David. But David is in retirement and we don't know if he will come out of retirement - but I think the New Zealand public want to see him fight again.''
Keddell said Tua was aware of the offer. He expected to meet with Tua this week to explain the details.
Tua, a New Zealand sporting legend and one of boxing's most devastating knockout exponents ever, would still offer huge pay-per-view appeal for Sky viewers.
Keddell hoped Super 8 reignites Tua's interest in returning to the ring. He said Tua would have been ideally suited to the explosive nature of the prizefighter tournament.
Sky Arena promoter John McRae said Rahman-Tua was ''the fight everyone wants to see''.
''It was the fight New Zealand wanted to see post Tua-Cameron. I think David should have another run,'' McRae said.
McRae wouldn't speculate on his chances of persuading Tua out of retirement. Tua's last fight was a points loss to giant Belarusian Alexander Ustinov in Hamilton last November.
But New Zealand cruiserweight champion Monty Filimaea, trained by Tua, posted on his Facebook page that Tua should fight the Super 8 winner. A entry on the thread from Tua's Facebook page read: ''Man, that would be something''.
If Tua decides not to take the bout, there would also be appeal in a Meehan v Rahman rematch. Meehan says he was injured before his defeat by Rahman in a IBF, WBA and WBC title eliminator at Madison Square Garden in 2004. Meehan has indicated he would take the fight.
Sky Arena also held discussions this week with Cameron's manager Ken Reinsfield over his options. Cameron hasn't fought since his defeat by Brian Minto last December.
The Rahman fight would be held some time between October and December.
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