Ex-Boxing Champion Ike Ibeabuchi Released From Prison After 20 Years
By Niyi Busari
Former boxing champion Ike Ibeabuchi has been released from a US prison after serving jail time for 20 years.
Ibeabuchi, born February 2, 1973, a Nigerian former professional boxer, fondly called ‘The President’ Ibeabuchi is a former WBC International Heavyweight Champion.
Igbere TV reports that he was arrested in Las Vegas on July 22, 1999 for allegedly attempting sexual assault on a 21-year-old stripper who told police that Ibeabuchi tried to rape her in the closet when she asked for money up front.
While standing trial, another case of alleged sexual assault was opened against him which was said to have happened eight months earlier at another hotel.
The boxer who is undefeated in his professional boxing career with 20 wins and 14 knockouts was in November 2001 sentenced to two to 10 years for battery with intent to commit crime and three to 20 years for attempted sexual assault, with the sentences to be served consecutively.
After completing his jail time, Ibeabuchi was released in 2014 but was rearrested in 2016 and held at the Arizona prison on an old warrant he claimed he had no knowledge of.
The Nigerian was released from Arizona prison on Wednesday, according to Robert Brizel, an American boxing journalist who had been advocating for Ibeabuchi’s freedom.
Brizel through an email on Thursday morning that the boxer “is now being detained by ICE – the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Eloy Detention center in Eloy, Arizona, until his green card and citizenship paperwork, which was in process several years ago before he was held by Arizona on an old warrant, can be reevaluated and resolved. Ike was moved from Arizona penal system custody to ICE custody on September 23, 2020.”
Ibeabuchi moved to the US in 1993 at the age of 19, settling in Dallas, Texas with his mother Patricia.
The Nigerian former professional boxer who competed from 1994 to 1999 in the heavyweight division defeated highly ranked contender David Tua in 1997 and future world champion Chris Byrd in 1999.
After compiling a record of 20–0 with 15 knockouts, Ibeabuchi was imprisoned in Las Vegas in July 1999, after submitting an Alford plea .