By Mark Vester
Over the years, heavyweight David Tua had more than his fair share of internal issues with managers and promoters. Once again, there is an internal rift taking place between Tua's promoter Cedric Kushner and the boxer's local representative in New Zealand, Inga Tuigamala. The two members of Tua's team are bickering over which party is obligated to pay the boxer's most recent opponent, Demetrice King.
Tua decisioned King on March 19 in New Zealand. King has yet to be paid his $10,000 purse. Kushner is claiming to have emails which direct the obligation of paying King to Tuigamala. Kushner says Tuigamala asked him to step aside on this fight. When Tuigamala had trouble securing an opponent, he asked Kushner for help. Kushner helped him secure King.
But, Tuigamala, who is Tua's cousin and an Auckland-based promoter, said he was responsible only for the undercard of Tua-King, and Kushner, Tua's US-based promoter, was responsible for King.
"I am so, so surprised by Inga in all this," said Kushner to the New Zealand Herald. "I received absolutely no money at all from this fight - why would I then put myself in a position where I had to pay one of the fighters when I was receiving no revenue?
"You also have to ask yourself this: if this was my fight - organized and promoted by me - why would I be effectively asking Inga for permission? It'd be like asking him if it was okay for my wife to buy a dress."
Tuigamala fired back in response: "That is absolute rubbish. I never went to him and asked him to let me promote the show. If I was the promoter, how come when we had all the press conferences and at the weigh-in that it was Cedric doing all the talking?
"How come Cedric has a contract with Demetrice King that says Cedric has the right to promote King's next two fights [if King had won; a boxing tactic to ensure a rematch]? If I was the promoter, wouldn't that be me who has the rights?"
The paper did receive scanned emails, which show Kushner contacting Tuigamala to confirm the details of the fight (including King's fee) and Tuigamala's response, telling Kushner to go ahead with the contract.