The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Special Recognition of Samoan Heavyweight Boxer David Tua

Representative Eni F.H. Faleomavaega

Mr. Speaker, what is it that Olympian gold-medalist volleyballer Eric Fonoimoana, Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers, Joe Salvare'a of the Tennessee Titans, Edwin Mulitalo of the Baltimore Ravens, Naomi Mulitauaopele of the Utah Starzz, Marcus Tuiasosopo of the Washington Huskies, All-American UCLA discus thrower Seilala Su'a, Yokozuna Sumo Grand Champion Musashimaru, Ozeki Sumo Champion Konishiki, WWF Wrestling Champion Tuifeai "The Rock," and heavyweight boxer David Tua all have in common? Mr. Speaker, they are all Samoans. Not Somalians. Mr. Speaker, they are Samoan Polynesians who share the same cultural heritage like the Maoris of New Zealand, the Hawaiians or Kanaka Maoli, the Tongans, and the Tahitians.

After the elections Mr. Speaker, I suggest to my colleagues and to the millions of boxing fans throughout America, to kick back and turn their TV sets on to HBO and witness one of the most historical events that will transpire on the evening of November 11 in Las Vegas — the world heavyweight boxing championship fight between Lennox Lewis and Samoan heavyweight boxer David Tua.

Mr. Speaker, it is against Samoan tradition to be boastful and arrogant — but as a totally neutral observer and with all due respect — Lennox Lewis is going to painfully wake up the next morning and count how many ribs he has left, and then he will wonder if he was hit by either a dump-truck or a D-nine caterpillar tractor, after fighting against David Tua.

You see, Mr. Speaker, this guy David Tua — he has the heart and soul of a true Polynesian warrior. He's got a nasty left hook and a deadly right hand knockout punch. He only weighs about 250 pounds. He has no neck, and his legs and calves are like tree trunks — which is typical of Samoan men who also wear what we here in America describe as skirts, but they are actually lavalavas.

I want to express my personal thanks and appreciation to the good people of New Zealand — all the pakehas and our Polynesian cousins the Tangata Maohi for looking after David Tua and his family, and for their acceptance of David Tua — and I say to my Maori cousins — "Tena Koutou! Tena Koutou!" Thank you, Thank you!

Mr. Speaker, in describing David Tua's physical presence, I am reminded of a poem that a Hawaiian comedian Frank Delima once wrote about Samoans. By the way, Mr. Speaker, David Tua's favorite pastime is writing poetry. Anyway, the poem, in part, is entitled "Abdullah Fata'ai" and it goes like this:

I'm nine feet tall and six feet wide I got a neck made of elephant hide I scrape da haoles off the soles of my feet I drive my Volkswagen from the back seat

I eat green bananas, tree and all
My favorite game is tackle football
I wear a skirt, but you better not laugh
Cause it won't be funny when I break you in half
I'm as gentle and sweet as a grizzly bear
Only difference is he got more hair

I got the nicest smile in all the Pacific
I got an island home that's super terrific
But I don't like fight and you don't like die
So when I say, "Talofa!" you better say, "Hi!"

Mr. Speaker, I call upon the Prime Minister of the Independent and Sovereign State of Samoa and the Governor of the U.S. Territory of American Samoa to declare November 11 as National David Tua Day. It will be a day that will be remembered by Samoans throughout the world — the Samoan "David" going up against the Goliath "Lennox Lewis" — and we all know the results of that famous encounter.

I do not know if David Tua is listening to this presentation, Mr. Speaker, but I do know that David Tua is a humble man — never speaks ill of his opponents, and I believe the American people and boxing fans around the world are going to remember him well for his talents, and above all, his sportsmanship like conduct.

As we say in the Samoan language, "Ia pouliuli lou tino, ma ia malamalama ou mata, ma tafe toto ou ala — ou mama na, David Tua," which means, Mr. Speaker, "May your body be as invisible as the air and may your eyes be as bright as the sun. May you be victorious in battle — all our hopes and aspirations are with you, David Tua."

[Taken from the Congressional Record, 17 October 2000, page E1804.]