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Tua-Moorer teleconference

BY Rick Folstad ON January 29, 2002
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There wasn’t any carnage left behind after the Michael Moorer - David Tua teleconference earlier this month, no carcass left in the ditch.No one yelled, no one took a cheap shot, no one stuck a knife in the other guy’s back.
Instead, it was like a quiet chat among good friends, reminding each other that they have a heavyweight get-together set for Aug. 17 in Atlantic City.

When the teleconference was finally over, everyone said their sincere good-byes.

“David, you take care now. I’ll see you in Atlantic City.’’
“You do the same, Michael. Drive careful.’’
“Kevin and Lou, see you guys on the 17th.’’
“Bye Cedric, bye Carl, bye David. See you later Michael.’’
“Same here. Bye David, bye Michael, See ya Lou. Have a good trip back, Kevin.’’
“Good night, grandpa. Good night, grandma.’’ “Good night, John Boy.’’

So much for the Mike Tyson-style of raising heavyweight hell before a fight.

 If you were looking for predictions on who was gonna knock who out in what round, it didn’t happen.

 Controversy?

A big no-show. Name calling? You got to be kidding. Accusations? C’mon.
There was no tweaking of the lion’s tail on the conference call, no verbal slaps across the face, no nasty threats directed at someone’s offspring.
If Tua (40-3-0, 35 KOs) and Moorer (43-2-1, 34 KOs) had been in the same room, they would have grown tired of slapping each other on the back. They weren’t promoting a fight, they were pushing for world peace.
 I’ve heard harsher language at a Sunday morning worship service.

“First, I want to thank Cedric, Lou, Michael, Frank, Carl and the Trump Taj Mahal,’’
Tua said at the beginning of the teleconference, throwing down the gauntlet.
 “Everything is going well and I’m looking forward to the fight. I’m grateful for the opportunity to fight Michael Moorer. We’ve been friends a long time.’’
Then it was Moorer’s turn to bad-mouth Tua.
“First, I want to thank everyone,’’ he said. “As David said, we’ve been friends a long time. He’s a gentleman and he doesn’t run his mouth off. I’m sure we’ll put on a great show.’’

He sounded like Timmy from the Mickey Mouse Club.

“Hey boys and girls, we’re going to have some reeeeaal fun today.’’

There was one moment of suspense early on when Moorer, a two-time heavyweight champ, disagreed with Lou DiBella, who said the fight was between a boxer (Moorer) and a puncher (Tua).

“I don’t think it’s between a boxer and a puncher,’’ Moorer said, perhaps raising a few eyebrows.
 “I think it’s between a puncher and a puncher.’’
Whoa, Michael. Are you sure? Ah, controversy.

Almost.

Then there was the insinuation that because the two heavyweights are good friends, the fight might be, well, you know, boring.
Nothing more than a glorified sparring session.
Both fighters scoffed at the idea.

“We’re friends and we’ll always be friends regardless of what happens,’’ Moorer said. “But this is a business. I’ll be coming out blazing.’’

Tua agreed to come out blazing himself.
That was about it for the fireworks, and as teleconferences go, this one was nice and refreshing for a change. There was no blowing smoke, no yelling, no threats, no strutting and no disrespect. This was an honest teleconference between two buddies who aren’t pretending to be anything else, and who are still going to try to knock each other’s block off on a warm night at the Taj Mahal in mid-August.

Friends? Sometimes, that’s the best fight in the world.

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