Undefeated 43 year old Heavyweight Ike Ibeabuchi (20-0) appears set to return to the ring after seventeen years, as promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank is talking about featuring Ibeabuchi on the April 9th Manny Pacquiao versus Timothy Bradley pay-per-view event.
We last saw Ibeabuchi in March of 1999, when he stopped undefeated future world champion Chris Byrd to run his record to a perfect (20-0) with 15 KOs and establish himself as a serious contender in the heavyweight division.
Then a series of legal problems led to Ibeabuchi spending several years in a psychiatric hospital and then more than a dozen years in prison.
Released from the criminal justice system a free man in November of 2015, Ibeabuchi quickly contacted Arum and he has also been working with advisor Mike Koncz, who is known as part of Manny Pacquiao's advisory team as well. After more than a decade and a half since he last competed, the plan for Ibeabuchi is to move fast.
There is no doubt that Ibeabuchi was a contender in 1999, and among a great many of those who saw him fight back in the 90's, he was considered to have loads of potential.
One observer told The Boxing Channel “He had a lot of natural talent and he was an athlete but how much of that is left? He is going to be trying to make up for in-ring experience with real-life experience, and that will make it doubly hard. Where are his body and his mind as we enter 2016?”
Well, it appears almost a certainty that we will find out this coming April, when Bob Arum and Top Rank promote the return of Heavyweight Ike Ibeabuchi.