David Tua vs Monte Barrett
This was a close bout, with the crowd in Atlantic City giving both fighters a standing ovation at the end.
At the outset, Tua aggressively stalked Barrett, throwing powerful left hooks; but when they did land on Barrett's head, Monte shook them off, fought back and remained determined to win. Barrett countered with a lot of solid jabs which scored and kept moving on good legs, not giving Tua a stationary target. Tua appeared tired after five rounds, while Monte did not, enabling Monte to outbox Tua from that point on with greater and greater accuracy. Monte also switched back and forth from orthodox stance to southpaw, hitting Tua while confusing him and keeping him off balance throughout.
In the tenth, Barrett wobbled Tua with a big right hook and had him in serious trouble. Good argument made for Barrett to perhaps win this decision in his final pro bout, as Tua also had a point taken away for throwing Barrett to the canvas in final round. Landing solid combinations consistently as the twelfth round progressed, Barrett again had Tua in serious trouble. Barrett Right hook-left-right hook combination to the head sent Tua to the canvas flat on his back in the twelve for the first time in his career. Tua beat the count, creating a theoretical 10-7 round for Barrett.
Two judges had in 113-113, resulting in a majority draw. One judge had Tua the winner 115-111. The crowd booed the decision. It was a very close bout overall and appeared difficult to score.
After the bout, Barrett stated, "I put my best foot forward and did the best I could. I fought to my last breath." Monte felt his deserved to win. "This is one of the things that caused me to retire. The sport is not pure like the fighters."
Said Tua, "I kept my heart and kept fighting to the end." The bout was broadcast live on Maori T.V. New Zealand. This bout was a defense of David Tua's WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental Heavyweight championships. After the bout, Barrett later stated he would return to the ring and agree to a rematch with Tua in New Zealand.
In a unique footnote, both fighters had extraordinary records in Atlantic City bouts: Tua 13-0-1, 12 kayos, Barrett 7-0-1, 5 kayos, a combined knockout percentage of 85%.