Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tuamanator honours boxing trailblazers at National Hall of Fame induction

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Samoan and New Zealand heavyweight great Faumuina To’aletai David Tua. Photo: Provided
Samoan and New Zealand heavyweight great Faumuina To’aletai David Tua. Photo: Provided
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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

The Crystal Ballroom in Montebello California was beaming with boxing luminaries as the latest members for the National Boxing Hall of Fame were inducted on Monday.

Among the inductees is Samoan and New Zealand heavyweight great Faumuina To’aletai David Tua.

Originally set to be inducted in 2020, the ceremony was postponed due to the global pandemic. Then, despite being held last year, Tua was still not able to attend the ceremony for personal reasons. Now, three years on he’s finally received the award in California.

The ‘Tuamanator’ as he was known in the ring, performed a siva tau (Samoan war dance) as he made his way on to the stage to receive his award.

He chanted the phrase “O ai le Toa? Samoa!” Translated, it signals that Samoa is ready to go to war. The war dance was famously used by the historic Toa Samoa team who were finalists for last year’s Rugby League World Cup.

Certificate of Recognition awarded to David Tua – National Boxing Hall of Fame 2020

Being the humble person that he is, Tua was quick to thank those who had paved the way for him to shine.

“It’s an honour to be here amongst some of the greats in the sport today,”Tua says.

“It’s a privilege for me to be here on behalf of the giants and the pathfinders of boxing from where I am from because if it weren’t for them I would not be here today.”

The 50 year old stepped away from the sport in 2013, with a career that spanned more than 20 years. He fashioned a formidable career which includes a bronze medal at Barcelona Olympics in the 1992 and a world title shot against former world champion Lennox Lewis in 2000.

Nowadays, you can find the former heavyweight mentoring the next generation at the ‘David Tua Gym’ in Onehunga. The gym runs on the mantra, ‘World Champions in the ring, world champions outside of the ring’, a quality that Tua hopes to instil into those who come through to his gym.

Last year, Tua was also inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of fame, adding to his list of accolades in the sport.

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