Hey Fight fans!
This week our subject is former heavyweight contender and generally strange/dangerous guy, Ike Ibeabuchi. Born February 2, 1973, in Isuochi, Nigeria, Ike “The President” Ibeabuchi stood six foot two inches tall and weighed a solid two hundred thirty some odd pounds. After success as an amateur in his native Nigeria, Ibeabuchi came to the USA and fought out of the Dallas, Texas gym of former welterweight great turned trainer, Curtis Cokes.
Ibeabuchi was on the winning end of one of the greatest heavyweight fights of the last thirty years. Together with slugger David Tua, Ibeabuchi set a compubox record for punches thrown in a heavyweight contest (Ibeabuchi set the record for most thrown by a heavy). Ibeabuchi was an action heavyweight with lots of punches in his arsenal and the aggressiveness to land them. He went on to stop Chris Byrd at a time when Byrd was one of the best heavyweights in the division and Ibeabuchi was on course to challenge Lennox Lewis in a super-fight for the heavyweight championship.
Ibeabuchi was involved in several disturbing criminal incidents before the sexual assault to which he accepted an Alford Plea and was eventually incarcerated. Before that he kidnapped his own son from an estranged girlfriend and, with the young man in the passenger seat, Ibeabuchi drove his car at high speed into a bridge abutment. The boy was permanently disabled and Ike was sentenced to 120 days in jail for kidnapping. After the win over Byrd, Ibeabuchi was involved in another incident at the Mirage Hotel when an in-room entertainer claimed she was sexually assaulted by Ibeabuchi. He then locked himself in the hotel bathroom and when police arrived he had to be forcibly removed by being pepper-sprayed under the door.
It was a long time before Ibeabuchi was finally deemed fit to stand trial and was sentenced to prison. He was released in November of twenty-fifteen and there were rumors he was going to return to boxing and fight Andy Ruiz on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley rematch but that never panned out. And in April of twenty-sixteen he was arrested for parole violation and is currently being held pending sentence or deportation.
Born in Sheffield, England to Yemeni parents, Prince Naseem Hamed brought bone-crunching, head-cracking, leg-wobbling power to the featherweight division in the late 90s. An elusive, free-styling, arrogant southpaw with power in either hand, the Prince called the rounds he’d scored kayos in and then boasted about it when he proved himself true. Training out of the Wincobank Hill boxing gym of Brendan Ingle, the seven year old Naseem showed an aptitude for speed, power and the drive to become a champion. After 11 years as an amateur and a record 62-5 (18), Hamed turned pro and started racking up the kayos.
In 1997 he burst upon the American boxing scene with a true tempest-in-a-teapot of a fight against the Flushing Flash Kevin Kelley. Their contest featured one of the longest ring-entrance walks ever witnessed and six knockdowns in four rounds. The Prince had arrived.
He solidified his claim to featherweight bad-assery with a frightening knockout of tough but limited Augie The Las Vegas Kid Sanchez in Connecticut in August of 2000, a fight which paved the way for a featherweight unification fight against the great Marco Antonio Barrera. Unfortunately for the Prince, he had broken his hand in the Sanchez victory and allowed himself to get too out of shape during the recovery period. Once camp began for Barrera it was focused almost entirely on weight-loss. Whatever, the Prince never really recovered professionally from the embarrassing domination he suffered at the hands of Barrera.
At his peak he posed a difficult and extremely dangerous opponent for any featherweight and he helped catapult the little men into bigger purses with his flamboyant style, arrogance and knockout power to back it up. He was inducted into the IBHOF in 2015.
Born Thomas Rocco Barbella this all-time great middleweight champion grew up a juvenile delinquent and got pinched for stealing things that began with the letter “A” like a radio, a watch, a car, a wallet or a purse. A true anti-authoritarian, Barbella entered the armed forces to avoid jail time but was dishonorably discharged for striking an officer. Barbella started boxing under the name of his sister’s boyfriend, Rocky Graziano to avoid his own past. As Graziano would say years later “turns out he had longer rap sheet than I did!”
Graziano’s blend of powerful punches, freakish durability and raw, relentless pressure were the perfect foil to the classic boxing expertise of the Man of Steel, Tony Zale and the two middleweights fought a classic three bout series.
Graziano didn’t have much education; he left school on account of pneumonia, not because he had it, because he couldn’t spell it. But Graziano’s charisma propelled into a lucrative career in tv and commercials after he left the ring and made more there in tinsel town than he ever did in the squared circle.
Rocky Graziano died in 1990 and was inducted in to the IBHOF in 1991.
This week’s Blast features Nicolino Locche “Il Intocable”-The Untouchable.
Despite a two pack-a-day smoking habit, Locche had some of the quickest ring reflexes ever displayed. Legendary trainer Ray Arcel thought Locche was even better than Willie Pep, the man most herald as the greatest-defensive-fighter-of-all-time. Locche was arguably superior. Born in Tunuyan, Mendoza in Argentina, Locche started boxing at 9 years old and amassed an amateur record of 117-5. Locche may have looked like a banger with his beefy sloping shoulders and thick torso, but Locche was all finesse and freakish reflexes. He could all but disappear while standing right in front of an opponent. His ability to make an opponent miss and to mock him while doing it was second to none. Unfortunately, he does not get the credit today, especially from American media, as he fought almost exclusively in Argentina; he had two fights abroad, one in Venezuela and one in Panama.
Although it wasn’t until later in his career that his opponent’s could touch him, cigarettes had their hooks in him. In 1994 he underwent a triple bypass and he died of heart failure at the age of 66 in twenty-oh-five. He was inducted to the IBHOF in Canastota, NY in 2003.
Check out the highlight video below
The Title Bout Championship Boxing Game picks the winners in this weekend’s bouts
By Alex Pierpaoli
We like to use the Title Bout Championship Boxing Game every week in the Blast-From-The-Past by posing fantasy match-ups between today’s stars and yester-years’ greats. Well, of course we can also use the game to propose lots of matches, including a few we’re to see this weekend. Here are the results.
Raymundo Beltran versus Johnathan Maicelo is the first bout to air on HBO at 10:15pm est Saturday night.
The first pairing of these two goes the full 12 and Beltran wins by unanimous decision. In the tenth round we see a rare 9-8 scored frame when Beltran scores a knockdown but is subsequently penalized one point for hitting on the break. Beltran went on to drop Maicelo in the 11th and again in the 12th. Beltran went on to win by scores of 116-110, 117-108 and 116-108.
When these two do battle one hundred times Beltran comes out ahead going 77-16-7 (49). And in those sixteen victories Maicelo was able to score 8 kayos.
Terence Crawford battles Felix Diaz in HBO’s Main Event, and in their first Title Bout contest Bud Crawford kayos Diaz at :39 of round 12. Crawford put Diaz down in the 11th once and down again for good in the 12th.
When these two fight it out one hundred times it is Crawford who dominates, going 74-21-5 (38) and 10 of those 21 wins by Diaz are by kayo.
Gary Russell Jr versus Oscar Escandon is the main event of the Showtime triple-header that begins at 6pm est. In their first encounter Gary Russell Jr scores a tenth round technical knockout at :57. Escandon was on the deck in the first and then stopped on cuts in the 10th.
When they fight 100 times Russell jr dominates at 86-9-5 (17) with 2 of those nine victories for Escandon coming via the knockout.
That’s TBCBG’s take for this weekend. Enjoy the fights!
This week’s Blast features Miguel Canto
Born January 30th, 1948 in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, Miguel Canto Solis was just five feet and one half inch tall and fought as a Flyweight. The Yucatan is one of Mexico’s 31 independent states and is also the home of other world champion boxers like Guty Espadas, Miguel Berchelt, Gilberto Keb Bass and others but none achieved similar glory as El Maestro Pequeno, Miguel Canto. Canto was not the typical Mexican fighter. He was not a blood-and-guts pressure fighter like we’ve come to love when we imagine a Mexican fighter. Canto was a stylist and defensive genius and is often referred to as the Mexican Willie Pep.
Canto was one of those rare-greats who actually lost his pro-debut, a three round technical knockout defeat to Raul Hernandez on February fifth, 1969. Canto was just 21 years old. Fighting predominantly in his hometown of Merida, Canto notched a record of 33-3-3 (12) in just under five years as a pro before he faced Betulio Gonzalez in Caracas Venezuela for the WBC Flyweight Championship. Canto dropped a 15 round majority decision to Gonzalez but Canto won his next six fights earning himself another shot at the title in January of `75 against southpaw, Shoji Oguma in Japan. Canto defeated Oguma by the closest of Majority Decisions but he battled Oguma twice more during his record-setting title reign, defeating him each time they met.
In May of `75, Canto avenged his loss to Venezuelan, Betulio Gonzalez winning a spilt decision in his first official defense of the WBC Flyweight Title he earned beating Oguma. Canto went on to defend the Flyweight title 14 times before facing Chan-Hee Park of South Korea who defeated him via 15 round unanimous decision.
IBRO ranks him at number 7 in the top ten of all-time Greatest Flyweights, just behind Frankie Genaro and ahead of Ricardo “Finito” Lopez.
Hey there, Fight-fans!
Up this week is the great Mexican Bantamweight Champion Carlos Zarate.
Born May 23rd 1951 in Tepito Mexico, Carlos was the youngest of 8 children. He was five foot 8 inches tall and fought at 118 and 122. Zarate never knew his dad, who died of pneumonia when Carlos was just a toddler. He was raised by his mom, Luz Zarate, who made sure he got a good education but Carlos was trouble in school and “he liked fighting more than books.” Boxing was a natural fit and soon enough Zarate realized he was a tremendous puncher. He racked up a record of 33-0 with 30 kayos as an amateur—only one man claimed to have beaten him but records of the defeat are sketchy. Zarate was the Golden Gloves Champion of Mexico.
They called him “Classy Carlos.” He crushed stereotypes about the loud and flashy Mexican fighter. Zarate was more refined and even tried to institute a No Spitting policy in the gym where he trained. In the ring he was a methodical technician, coolly confident, an exceptional boxer with fast instinctive moves.
After 7 years as a pro and with an exceptional record of 46-0 (45), Zarate faced off against former stablemate, sparring partner and rival, Alfonso Zamora who carried an equally impressive 29-0 (29) record into their encounter. Dubbed the “Battle of the Z’s” it took place in front of a frenzied crowd at the Forum in Inglewood, California. In the first round a member of the crowd leaped into the ring because “God told him to do it” but he was quickly subdued by riot police. The fight itself was a thriller and is posted below.
Again and again, Saul Canelo Alvarez beats Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. says computer simulation
By Alex Pierpaoli
As you know if you watch the Blast-From-The-Past on The Billy C Morning Show each Wednesday, we like to end each segment by using the Title Bout Championship Boxing Game fight simulation software in setting up fantasy match-ups. Well, in light of this week’s big Pay-per-View we decided to see what the game said about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. versus Saul Canelo Alvarez. As I do each week on the Blast, first, I put the fighters in against each other in one 12 round bout and then made them fight 100 times. This time I also played with the conditions you can set for each fight. Like say one guy were to arrive overweight, hypothetically, of course, you can set the game to allot for that. So here are the results with a few different specified conditions, the trend is abundantly clear, though. The Computer likes Cinnamon.
Results with Canelo Alvarez ranked as a Jr Middle, Chavez Jr as a Middle and both men in Top Condition: 1st fight: Alvarez is dropped in the 7th, he rises but at 2:57 the bout is waved off. Winner by TKO is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. When they fight one hundred times at that setting, Canelo bests him with a record of 66-28-6 (13). Junior scored 11 kos in his twenty-eight victories.
Results of Canelo vs. Chavez Jr with both fighters ranked as Middleweights and coming in with a setting of Top Condition: In their 1st fight Canelo Alvarez scores a stoppage victory at 2:37 of round 11. When they fight one hundred times under those settings–Both in Top Condition–Canelo gets the best of things with a record of 59-37-4 (15). Julio Cesar Chavez Jr scored 17 kayos in his 37 wins.
Results of Canelo in Top Condition versus a Badly Overweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. In their 1st fight, Chavez Jr opens up a big gash in the face of Canelo in round number 6 and at :27 of round 8 the bout is stopped. Winner by TKO, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. But when they fight one hundred times under those same conditions Canelo dominates 86-11-3 (11) and Chavez Jr scored 7 knockouts in his eleven wins.
Results with Canelo fighting under the conditions of: Broke Training Regularly. And Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s condition set as: Badly Overweight: In their 1st fight: Canelo was on the deck in the eleventh. It goes the distance. The scores after twelve rounds are 117-110 x 2, and 116-111 all in favor of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. One of the quotes from the Blow-By-Blow is: This has not been one for the ages both guys tentative.” When they fight one hundred times under those conditions again it is all Cinnamon. Canelo goes 53-41-6 (13) and Chavez Jr was able to notch 17 knockouts among those forty-one victories.
The average of all those different adjustable conditions, if my math is correct, shows Saul Canelo Alvarez finishing at 66-29-5 (13) versus Julio Cesar Chavez jr. So it’s safe to say according to the Title Bout Championship Game, Canelo should win big this Saturday night.
Wladimir Klitschko is sure to dominate says Title Bout Computer Game
As you know if you watch the Blast-From-The-Past on The Billy C Morning Show each Wednesday, you know we like to end each segment by using the Title Bout Championship Boxing Game fight simulation software in setting up fantasy match-ups. Well, in light of tonight’s mega-fight at Wembley Arena we decided to see what the game said about Wladimir Klitschko versus Anthony Joshua.
As I do each week on the Blast, I, first, put the fighters in against each other in one 12 round bout and then made them fight 100 times.
So, what happens? Plain and simple, Wlad destroys Joshua.
When Klitschko and Joshua meet the first time Wlad Klitschko wins by fifth round TKO (2:34) dropping the Briton 3 times before the Ref waves it off.
Then when opposing each other over one hundred fights, Wlad Klitschko dominates with 94 wins, six defeats and 78 knockouts. All six of Joshua’s wins came by way of knockout.
So despite approximately 5-to-1 odds currently in favor of Joshua, the Title Bout game likes Wlad Klitschko to win and win big, regaining the championship for the third time.
I see it going that way as well. Wlad by KO.