Many have heard through whispers on the streets about the downfall of To’aletai David Tua shortly after his retirement from boxing.
But what many do not know, is how far down those shocking chain of events left the former world heavyweight boxing title challenger.
Losing a huge chunk of hard earned cash and then going through a divorce is more than enough to leave any man depressed beyond repair but not for To’aletai.
Being one of Samoa’s favorite sons and held by his people with such high esteem, he displayed true strength by picking himself up and putting his shattered life together again.
Which brings us to the reason To’aletai is back home; he will be using his testimony to show people that no matter how far down you fall, you can always get back up with the help of God.
He will be sharing his story at the Annie Grace concert that will not only move the nation, but also touch the hearts of everyone present.
“I am so grateful to Annie, Mission and the committee for the opportunity they have given me to come to Samoa for such an amazing event,” he said during a media conference at the Orator hotel.
“I haven’t come to fight. I haven’t come to sing either because I don’t have a nice singing voice; but I have come here to use my story to incite hope in the lives of my people.
“I have been through a lot but I only managed to get out of it through the grace of God, If it wasn’t for God then I wouldn’t be here today.”
To’aletai shared a small snippet of the message he will be sharing.
“I went through a very challenging time, with boxing you have to have people to trust, when you’re in the ring there is no one else to trust but those closest to you,” he said.
“That’s how it was for me, I trusted that some people will do right by me but it was all in vain.
“$20million!!!! You know people get killed left right and centre for just a pair of shoes or just a shirt.
“In keeping that in mind just imagine how many dead people $20million will bring about.”
The depression faced by the retired boxer could easily be seen as too much for any ordinary man to handle, but with the help of God, all things are possibly.
“I went through a depression in the sense that I started to think like a serial killer, I started to premeditate a lot of things,” he said.
“Killing someone is easy, but everything that follows makes it not worth it, you will always be held accountable for everything you do.
“But then I had to stop because I started to think ‘who will look after my parents, who will look after my son if I was to go to jail’ but I think more importantly, I fear God.
“It also came to mind that an act of the sort will tarnish the name of Samoa, the name of your family won’t be the only thing affected; your whole nation will go down.”
From earning around $6million per fight during his boxing days, To’aletai now works 17 hours a day, 6 days a week to keep things steady.
“Back in New Zealand I run a small community fitness gym, I wake up at 4:30am every morning and I set everything up for the 6am classes,” he said.
“After the morning classes I have one on one’s and then the gym closes at 9:30pm, so that’s what my life is like 6 days a week.”
But the boxer admits he still has his battles every now and then.
“I am still fighting, but not in the physical sense, I don’t throw any more punches,” he said.
“There are different battles people can go through, but with God on your side then anything is possible.”
To’aletai extended an open invitation to members of the public to join them in front of the government building today for his full story along with an amazing show of talent.