I’ve done this Sunday Punch series for months now and not once have I done a piece on one of my favorite heavyweights ever, David Tua.
Tua never won a major title and frankly it’s a shame that he only ever had one actual major championship fight. But in the meantime, he usually entertained fans by knocking people unconscious and displaying one rock solid chin. Against John Ruiz on March 15th, 1996, there was no need to talk about the chin and every need to marvel at the knockout.
Ruiz was 25-2 while Tua was 23-0. It was a well-matched fight on a card that was filled with other young (at the time... obviously) heavyweights such as Shannon Briggs, Andrew Golota, and Danell Nicholson. This bout stole the attention because Tua knocked Ruiz into next week. Ruiz was rocked by Tua’s trademark left hook, and then got annihilated by a combo from hell that was capped off by another hook that damn near decapitated John. Over and out in 19 seconds.
Watch the video above!
This was Ruiz’s first knockout loss and he wouldn’t have another one until he was stopped by David Haye in 2010, after which he retired with a record of 44-9-1-1 NC (30 KOs). Ruiz was never known as an exciting fighter but he did enjoy some time as the WBA heavyweight champ in the early 2000s.
As for Tua (52-5-2, 43 KOs) he retired in 2013 after losing to Alexander Ustinov. Tua was a revered hitter and he had a classic with Ike Ibeabuchi that I highly recommend you check out, because those two threw bombs and never even went down. In fact, the New Zealander was never knocked down until his penultimate fight against Monte Barrett. His knockouts of Ruiz, Michael Moorer, Hasim Rahman, and countless others are all worth your time.