Boxer David Tua wants to set up a Pasifika political
party and says he has a burning desire to become an MP after
hanging up his gloves.
The heavyweight fighter revealed his political ambitions to
media today ahead of his comeback fight with Belarusian
heavyweight Alexander Ustinov next month.
The 40-year-old, who has already been working with young
Maori and Pacific Islanders, told TVNZ he wanted to set up a
"My heart and soul is burning with that desire and that fire
Tua told TVNZ he could get young Maori and Pacific Islanders
out to vote. He acknowledged his profile would help, saying
it was "a miracle".
"I believe when you speak and people know you're a decent
person and know you're a genuine person, I believe they'll
like you and probably vote for you."
His publicist Greg McCalman said Tua was focused on his
He told APNZ he was not aware of Tua's political ambitions.
but added: "It's probably not beyond the bounds of
possibility because David is very proud of his Samoan
heritage, he's very into his Samoan heritage, and if he's got
an eye on politics within that heritage, that's probably a
real definite possibility."
Tua was not immediately available for further comment today.
Other sportspeople have made the move to the political arena
in New Zealand as well.
Labour MP Louisa Wall was a former Black Fern and Silver Fern
before entering Parliament, while Government-appointed Race
Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is a former champion
Tua, who has two sons with his separated wife Robina
Siteine-Tua, would not be the first boxer to make the move
Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko, the reigning WBC heavyweight
boxing champion, has been a member of the Ukrainian
parliament since December last year.
He is the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for
Reform political party, which has 40 members in Ukraine's
parliament, and is campaigning to become Ukraine's president
in the 2015 elections.
Charismatic Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, who has won
several world titles, has been a congressman in the
Philippines since 2010 and is running for a second term in
congress this year.