Kevin Barry better prepared for world-title pressures since David Tua defeat

Barry was the former manager and trainer of David Tua.
Barry was the former manager and trainer of David Tua. Photo credit: Photosport

Kevin Barry is confident he is more equipped to handle the pressures of a world-title fight since David Tua's unanimous decision defeat to Lennox Lewis in 2000.

The 58-year-old managed and trained the "Tuaman" up until 2003, before their relationship soured, eventually resulting in a lawsuit.

But before the controversy, Barry and Tua took boxing by storm in the 1990s, winning the WBC and IBF Intercontinental titles, setting up a winner-takes-all unification fight with Lewis.

Tua would lose the bout convincingly, with the noticeable size and reach disadvantage proving too much for the knockout artist to overcome.

Barry will now have another chance at glory when New Zealand's newest star in the sport, Joseph Parker, takes on Anthony Joshua in a unification match in Cardiff on April 1 (NZT).

Speaking to Brendan Telfer on Saturday Sport, Barry feels he is better prepared to handle the bright lights than he was 17 years ago.

"I'd like to think that over the last 17 years my style of coaching and my way of doing things has developed and evolved.

"I think I'm a much wiser guy than I was in November of 2000. I think I'm far calmer and more mature and I look at things a lot differently.

"You can see with what I've done with Joseph over the last five years, when we've made big strides for a young guy.

"That comes from experiences that I've had over that period of time."

Tua lost to Lewis by unanimous decision in their unification bout.
Tua lost to Lewis by unanimous decision in their unification bout. Photo credit: Getty

Both fighters will put their unbeaten records on the line, but Parker will enter the ring as a considerable underdog, with few expecting the big Kiwi to upset the odds.

Barry believes Parker is the better boxer, and has the technical ability to beat the Briton.

"I know that Joe has a lot more skill than Anthony Joshua; I've always believed that.

"But if he's going to win this fight, he needs to draw down on all that skill and he needs to produce a career-defining fight by fighting his best performance."

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