History | Mar 15 2018

On This Day: David Tua bursts on to world stage with brutal KO of John Ruiz

23 years ago today, March 15, David Tua made his mark, writes James Slater
boxing knockouts
tua  |  Action Images

IN 1996, a card dubbed “Night Of The Young Heavyweights” was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shannon Briggs met Darrol Wilson, Andrew Golota met Danell Nicholson and a Samoan slugger by the name of David Tua met John Ruiz. The card proved memorable, for two reasons: firstly, Briggs, dubbed by some as the heir apparent to the heavyweight championship, was shocked by Wilson, being stopped in the 3rd-round.

Briggs claimed asthma problems accounted for the loss but much of the young and previously unbeaten prospect/contender’s credibility and reputation had been damaged. The other reason the card proved memorable was down to Tua’s wickedly powerful fists. Having his first title fight (the WBC International heavyweight belt was at stake) Tua, then unbeaten at 22-0 with 18 KO’s, really did showcase his talents at the expense of the 25-2 and never stopped Ruiz.

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