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Sport UFC 243: Tai Tuivasa's inspirational phone call with boxing legend David Tua

13:41  02 october  2019
13:41  02 october  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Tai Tuivasa talks about his inspirational phone call from David Tua and his upcoming fight at UFC 243 .

Tai Tuivasa was in the last couple of days of hard training for his UFC 243 bout with Sergey Spivak when the phone rang. The softly spoken man on the phone , calling from New Zealand, was boxing legend David Tua . Like an entire generation of young men from the South Pacific, Tuivasa grew up

Tai Tuivasa was in the last couple of days of hard training for his UFC 243 bout with Sergey Spivak when the phone rang.

He didn't recognise the voice on the other end of the line at first.

Tai Tuivasa of Australia interacts with the media.© Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Tai Tuivasa of Australia interacts with the media. But after a minute it soon became clear. The softly spoken man on the phone, calling from New Zealand, was boxing legend David Tua.

Like an entire generation of young men from the South Pacific, Tuivasa grew up idolising the Tuaman.

And with fight camp winding down, the call came at the perfect time to lift Tuivasa's spirits.

"It was full on - it made my day," Tuivasa told Sporting News of the call.

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UFC 243 : Tai Tuivasa talks about inspirational phone call from David Tua - Продолжительность: 4:05 Fight News Australia 341 просмотр.

"It was in the last couple of weeks of camp, and I didn't know he was gonna call, so it was really good.

"But he didn't even sound like a freshie, so I was like 'who's this?'

"I was trying to figure out who it was, cos he didn't sound as fresh as he usually does, but just to get that call was really special.

"It definitely lifted my spirits heaps and it was all a bit surreal really."

By far the biggest star in New Zealand boxing history, Tua rose to prominence on the international scene on the back of one of the most devastating left hooks in the fight game.

After claiming bronze at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona as a 19-year-old, Tua went pro and scored knockout victories in 23 of his first 27 wins.

His win over John Ruiz will go down as one of the most brutal first round knockouts ever. With the WBC International heavyweight belt on the line in Atlantic City in 1996, Ruiz was rendered unconscious in barely 20 seconds and remained on the canvas for twice as long as the fight lasted - if not longer.

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Tua eventually fought Lennox Lewis in Las Vegas in 2000 and finished his career with wins over the likes of Hasim Rahman and Michael Moorer.

Now 46, Tua's last fight was back in 2013, and he had some advice for Tuivasa as the product of Western Sydney looks to rebound from back-to-back losses.

"He just said 'I believe in you, you've got all the tools. You just need to calm down, slow it down, take your time and it'll come,'" Tuivasa said.

"He's not just Samoan, either, he's representing Pacific Islanders world wide.

"As a new zealander he would've been bigger over there or more well known, but he was like a God to me."

Tuivasa, who most recently fought at UFC 238 in Chicago in June, will take on Sergey 'The Polarbear' Spivak on the main card at UFC 243 as Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya unify the middleweight division.

The 24-year-old Spivak is 9-1 as a professional, but is 0-1 in the UFC after dropping his debut to Walt Harris in May.

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