David Tua's loss to Monte Barrett in Auckland on Saturday night may have cost him more than just his WBO Asia-Pacific and Oriental titles. Speaking to media after the fight Tua's promoter Cedric Kushner revealed that he had been in talks to secure a fight with WBC World Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko.
However, Saturday's unanimous points defeat to Barrett may well have put the brakes on Tua getting a second career world title fight.
"I don't want to be the only person sitting up here not telling the truth, it's a very significant loss, because there was an opportunity to fight Klitschko and that opportunity may not be there tomorrow," Kushner said.
"I think I'll have to have a sit down with David and see what the right thing to do is."
It's a damaging blow as the fight would have secured a massive payday for Tua, who has been financially crippled by legal battles with former manager Kevin Barry and poor investments.
Despite the loss meaning the 38-year-old is likely to lose the chance to get the fight he's been striving for ever since losing to Lennox Lewis in 2000, Tua was philosophical about his future.
"It is what it is, I don't think it'll harm anything to be honest, we just have to go back to the gym and see what happens from there, it's a passion that still burns from within," Tua said.
Some may see this as a naïve view from Tua, but his opponent's trainer James Bashir told media there was no reason why his age should rule him out of the chance to fight for a world title.
He pointed to examples such as Bernard Hopkins, who became the oldest world champion in May when he beat Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight championship.
Antonio Tarver also won a world title earlier this year, beating Australian Danny Green for the IBO Cruiserweight World Title at 42 years of age.
"Why shouldn't he (Tua) get in the ring he's a young man, Bernard Hopkins is 46 years old, David Tua is still a young man, and still a very dangerous and viable fighter," Bashir said.
The fight itself could have gone so differently for Tua, with Barrett looking to be out of the fight in each of the final three rounds.
In the 10th Tua caught the American against the ropes after hitting him with a left hook followed by a right, but he managed to clinch and hold on until the end of the round.
Barrett looked shaky again near the end of the final round, but was saved by the bell.
Then in the final round Tua again landed a combination of left and right hooks, this time Barrett hit the floor, but got to his feet against all odds and survived the final 45 seconds to emerge the winner.
But Tua made no excuses for the loss, admitting that his opponent had been the better fighter and bemoaning his slow start which saw him hardly land a punch in the first half of the fight.
"I think I did a good job, but I think I came on in the later rounds a little bit too late. I just couldn't get off second gear," Tua said after the fight.
For all Tua's experience, he's fought 58 professional fights for 52 wins and just four losses, he said he is still taking positives from the fight.
"I proved a lot to myself tonight, I got cut early in the fight and I didn't know how I'd react because this is my first cut and suddenly what come from within was 'man, now you're a fighter and welcome to the world of boxing."
However it still remains to be seen whether Tua will get another chance to use what he's learned in the loss, or whether the final curtain will be drawn on his career.
Tags: Vitali Klitschko , David Tua , Monte Barrett , Tua-Barrett , Tua vs Barrett