By Duncan Johnstone
David Tua has turned down a lucrative offer from world heavyweight boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko to be a sparring partner for his looming title clash with Alex Leapai.
Tua told the Courier Mail newspaper in Australia that he "didn't want to help anyone beat a "Samoan brother".
Leapai is a Samoan-bron fighter who learned his trade in Australia.
He fights Klitschko in Oberhausen, Germany, on April 26.
Tua and Leapai are similar physical specimens, the key factor in Klitschko sounding out Tua.
It would have been tempting for Tua in a monetary sense.
He retired from boxing late last year after losing his latest comeback fight to giant Belarusian Alexander Ustinov.
Leapai was thrilled with Tua's decision.
Tua was his idol growing up and said Tua was an inspiration to young Samoans everywhere.
Tua lost his only world title fight, being out-pointed by Briton Lennox Lewis in Las vegas in 2000. Tua couldn't overcome the physical advantages the massive Lewis had and Leapai faces a similar challenge against Klitschko.
Klitschko has hired Samoan-born Natu Visinia, an unbeaten prospect based in Los Angeles, veteran Florida-based Sherman "Tank'' Williams, from the Bahamas, and two-time British amateur champion Simon Barclay as his sparring partners.
Leapai starts sparring in Sydney next week.
He will train with former rugby league star Solomon Haumono, ex-WBO title challenger Kali Meehan, former Aussie champ Michael Kirby and former Penrith Panthers junior Bowie Tupou.
Tags: Wladimir Klitschko , David Tua , Alex Leapai , Klitschko-Leapai , Klitschko vs. Leapai