Ike Ibeabuchi hopes to fight on Manny Pacquiao undercard in April
By Isaac Robinson
Last Updated: 31/12/15 2:35pm
Ike Ibeabuchi is targeting a heavyweight world title having been released from prison and hopes to fight on Manny Pacquiao's undercard in April.
The undefeated 42-year-old (20-0-KO15) last fought in March 1999 when he stopped former world champion Chris Byrd in five rounds but is determined to get back to the top of the sport after 16 years in incarceration.
Upon his release from prison, Ibeabuchi hired Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz, who is hopeful of the chances of 'The President' making his comeback as support for Pacquiao's April bout. Early reports have suggested unbeaten Californian Andy Ruiz Jr (26-0-KO17) is a possible opponent.
Koncz told Yahoo Sports: "[Ibeabuchi] has served his time and wants to improve himself and Manny feels that since he's served his term and is trying to turn his life around, he deserves a second chance."
Ibeabuchi, who is of Nigerian descent but resided in Dallas, Texas before his imprisonment, added: "I am definitely in shape and I understand I would have to prove this.
"I need to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world and I understand that I will have to prove myself worthy.
"Any of the tests that would be required of me, an EKG, an MRI, an EEG, those kinds of tests, X-rays, things that would be required to obtain a boxing licence, were done while I was incarcerated. But I am willing to cooperate and do whatever so that I may obtain my boxing [licence] and appear on this card in Las Vegas."
Ibeabuchi has so far been taken the distance only five times in his career, including a classic clash with fellow world title hopeful David Tua in 1997.