Night of the Living Underachievers: Tua, Harrison, Green Win Big

What do you do with a granite-chinned, iron-fisted Samoan who choked in his biggest fight, an Olympic Champion who can’t even keep a regional title and a complete package who just can’t put it all together? The answer’s simple…You keep parading them into the ring until either good things happen or they run out of opportunities.

Yesterday, we saw three talented, yet underachieving, fighters get big enough wins to at least ensure one more TV date and one more shot at the top.

David Tua, at one time THE Heavyweight prospect, who was being marketed as an affable South Pacific version of Mike Tyson, never recovered from being dominated by Lennox Lewis in his first title fight back in 2000. The result of that loss was nearly a decade’s worth of weight issues, sloppy fighting and uninspired performances.

After a two-year layoff, Tua finally stepped back into the ring in what was being billed as “The Fight of the Century” in New Zealand against a club-level, but popular New Zealand fighter, Shane Cameron. Tua showed what happens when an irresistible force meets a club-level object and he took Cameron out hard in the second round after also scoring a couple of knockdowns in the first.

Audley Harrison, a British Heavyweight Olympic Gold Medalist, had blank checks waiting for him when he got back home from the games in 2000. Unfortunately, he took those blank checks as a sign that he didn’t need to work again. He would wind up on the losing end against pretty much every fighter who had a legit chance of beating him (Danny Williams, Dominick Guinn, Michael Sprott and Martin Rogan). Despite some flashes of real talent, like his rematch blow-out of Danny Williams, Harrison’s career can only be described as a major disappointment.

When the “A-Train” signed on for Britain’s “The Prizefighter” it was seen as a sign of the former Olympic hero finally hitting rock-bottom. And, even worse, he wasn’t being given much of a chance to win the single day tourney despite it being mostly stocked with inexperienced UK club fighters.

When the one rated fighter, Danny Williams, was surprisingly eliminated in the first round, Harrison went on to score wins over Scott Belshaw, Danny Hughes and Coleman Barrett to take home the cash prize.

Back on US soil, Allan Green also won his bout. He carried the awkward, yet over matched, Tarvis Simms the full distance in a lackluster follow-up to Green’s exciting two round blow out of Carlos de Leon Jr. last April.

At one point, Green was seen as a sort of second coming of Gerald McClellan; a two-fisted, athletically gifted fighter who was much more comfortable going to war than playing it safe.

Since he’s arrived on the world stage, Green has turned in some inconsistent performances, culminating in a nervous UD loss to Edison Miranda in his biggest fight to date. Because of this lack of consistent fire, Green has found himself on the outside, looking in, as his fellow Super Middleweights are being put in place to have an all-out brawl for dominance via the upcoming Super 6 Tournament and the Lucian Bute-Librado Andrade rematch.

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Last night we saw three talented fighters, who never quite lived up to their promise, buy themselves some more time on the world stage. Boxing is a very forgiving sport; Win a couple of big ones and all’s forgiven, but nobody gets unlimited second chances…and their time is running out.

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