Tua gives ring girls a break | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Tua gives ring girls a break

The undercard of the Fernando Vargas-Raul Marquez bout almost put the ring girls out of work Saturday night at Caesars Tahoe.

Four of the five bouts ended abruptly with first- or second-round knockouts, depriving some of the scantily clad hired women from parading the round numbers around the ring.

Spectators, some of them whom paid as much as $125 per seat, couldn’t afford to use the rest room or buy snacks for fear of missing a fight or two.



Even the featured undercard bout between IBF No. 1-rated heavyweight challenger David Tua and former Evander Holyfield sparring partner Gary Bell wound up being a mismatch. Tua of Auckland, New Zealand, backed Bell into a corner early in the opening round and unloaded 16 shots to Bell’s one, prompting referee Victor Drakulich to stop the fight after 79 seconds of action.

“It worked out great and I dedicate this fight to soul brother Mark Tuinei,” said Tua, remembering the former Dallas Cowboy who died earlier this year. “I guaranteed that this would be a different David Tua and I proved it. I’m No. 1 in the world, and I’ll fight anybody … Holyfield, (Lennox) Lewis. Once he came out firing I knew I had to take my style and my fighting to the next level where I go in there and stay busy.”




Bell, who is managed by heavyweight champion Holyfield, only threw eight punches to Tua’s 28 and never was able to take advantage of his 14-inch reach edge.

“Tua is an exciting guy. He might have trouble with the big heavyweights of today, but with his attitude, he’ll be in every fight he’s in. I’m not going to take anything away him,” said Don Turner, Bell’s trainer.

Tua opened a wide gash above Bell’s left eye only seconds after the opening bell rang. There was debate afterward whether Tua precipitated the wound with a head butt.

“I’m a guy who stays low, uses his weight and uses my legs. You know, those things happen, but I’m happy everything worked out great,” said Tua, who improved to 34-1 with 29 knockouts. “I actually didn’t think he was coming in to fight. I thought he was going to come in with the style of throwing the jab and moving around.”

Tua also dodged questions about his weight, which ballooned 13 pounds to 237 from his previous bout.

“I’m 26 now, and at this late stage of my career I feel that my body has matured. I’ve put on more muscle and less fat. I feel I still have my quickness, I still have my power and that’s all that matters. Whatever makes David Tua feel better and feel comfortable, I got to do what I have to do,” he said.

Bell was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital after being treated by several paramedics in his dressing room. He was expected to receive seven to eight stitches.

Eric Regan of Roseville, Calif., responded to the opportunity of being one of two token local fighters on the card. Regan won by technical knockout when referee Norm Button stopped his super middleweight bout with Marcos Cruz of Inglewood, Calif., 2:34 into the first round.

Repeated left-hand jabs took their toll on Cruz, giving him a bloody nose and a quick shower.

“My last two boxing matches I busted these guys up pretty good as far as their faces go. He was getting hurt and about to get hurt even worse. We’re like sharks, once you see that blood, you start going after it. The referee in my last bout didn’t stop it quick enough,” said Regan, who improved to 4-0 with all four victories coming by way of first-round knockout.

Like the South Shore’s Juan Torres, who wasn’t included on the card, Regan is a kickboxer turned boxer. So far, Regan is coping without the use of his legs as a weapon.

“It hasn’t been easy, but it’s getting better. I think I can be as good as I am in kickboxing eventually,” he said. “I’m just trying to be a good, clean boxer and technically sound and fight my style. This game is a game of styles. I’m a long, lanky guy who should be on the outside using his jab. I just want to represent my style the way it should be.”

In other bouts, John Kiser (15-20-4) of Denver showed that his losing record doesn’t mean anything as he won an eight-round decision over Sam Hampton (19-6-2) in a heavyweight bout. Also, featherweight Mario Aguinida of Oxnard, Calif., (3-0) defeated Francisco Guzman of Los Angeles with a second-round knockout; and lightweights John Lazcano (16-2-1) of Sacramento KO’d Tito Tovar (18-15-2) of Denver 1:07 into the second round of their scheduled eight-rounder.


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