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Boxing Day - David Tua V Belarusian Alexander Ustinov in Hamilton on 31 August 2013 Print E-mail 05 August 2013 - Heavyweight David Tua has endured what he describes as the most punishing regime of his 21-year professional boxing career as he looks to keep his world title ambitions alive.

But Tua, who hasn't fought for two years, has no complaints over the conditioning regime he has been put through ahead of his bout with giant Belarusian Alexander Ustinov in Hamilton on August 31.

"Training has been very, very ugly, but I've enjoyed every moment of it," he said in Auckland on Monday. "I've got to keep pushing myself. There's darkness and emptiness that I've never experienced in my whole career and I'm quite humble that I've got to experience them this time."

The 40-year-old Tua said his work with trainer Lee Parore had put him in better shape that he had been in for any of his fights since his spectacular second-round stoppage of Shane Cameron.

All four bouts after he demolished Cameron in Hamilton in 2009 have gone the distance, the last ending in a defeat to American Monte Barrett.

"I believe getting back with Lee was not by accident - it was a matter of time," Tua said.

"I've been in decent shape for a couple of fights since the Shane Cameron fight, but I've never been in fighting shape."

Tua, who challenged unsuccessfully for the world title against Briton Lennox Lewis in 2000, has a record of 52 wins (43 by knock-out), four losses and two draws.

At 1.78m, he will concede plenty of height to the 2.02m Ustinov, but he's not perturbed.

"I know what I'm in for," he said.

"I'm in a division of giants and at the end of the day it's about preparing myself to the very best and giving it heaps."

Ustinov, 36, arrived in New Zealand at the weekend and will travel the country promoting the bout before focusing on his preparation.

Ranked inside the IBF and the WBA's top 10, he has just one defeat from his 29 fights. The other 28 have all produced wins, including 21 by knock-out.



Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul for Belarus in New Zealand

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