David Tua is taking the first steps on the road to his comeback to the ring in June with a training schedule similar to the one which led to his spectacular 2009 knockout of Shane Cameron.
His completely dominant performance against his fellow New Zealander in Hamilton was six months in the making - helped by the physical conditioning of Lee Parore, the training expertise of American Roger Bloodworth and two sparring partners flown in from the United States.
Now Tua is about to renew his partnership with the renowned Parore, the trainer of young Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker, as he prepares for what will be another defining moment in his career.
Duco Events director David Higgins, who is promoting Tua's comeback fight, said little expense would be spared to get the 40-year-old in shape for an opponent who will be ranked in the top six in the world.
"We're looking at signing up a genuine contender ranked in the top six of the credible [associations]," Higgins said.
"He will be young and have few losses. If he [Tua] needed any more motivation, that will be it.
"If David beats him then he will be close to another title shot. If he loses then he will probably retire."
Tua, who was unsuccessful with his world heavyweight title shot against Lennox Lewis in 2000, has retired a few times already and will need to work hard. Since his demolition of Cameron in the Fight of the Century, he has stepped into the ring four times - beating Demetrice King and Friday Ahunanya on points, and drawing and then losing to Monte Barrett in his last fight.
Higgins said the more professional set-up would make all the difference, however.
Tua would again have access to top sparring partners, which, with the contracting of Parore and signing of a credible opponent, means Duco will have to make a large investment.
"We're putting our money where our mouth is," Higgins said.
Duco hoped to announce Tua's opponent next month.
Parker, who recently turned 21, will lead the Tua fight undercard. Higgins said the South Aucklander would fight three times before the June bout - twice in New Zealand and once in Australia.
Parker, a leading new Zealand amateur, has three professional fights to his name, all of which resulted in comfortable victories. His last fight was against Richard Tutaki at last month's Fight for Life event in Auckland.Tags: David Tua