Will Nevada Commission sanction Ike Ibeabuchi vs. Andy Ruiz?
By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is interested in putting a heavyweight clash between his fighter Andy Ruiz (26-0, 17 KOs) and 44-year-old Ike Ibeabuchi (20-1, 15 KOs) for the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley fight card on April 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
However, it’s still unclear whether the Nevada State Athletic Commission will sanction the fight because Ibeabuchi hasn’t fought in 17 years and he would be facing the highly ranked Ruiz, #8 WBO, #11 IBF, #11 WBC, in a 10 round fight. I can’t imagine this mismatch making it on television. Ibeabuchi isn’t fat from having been in prison for 15 years, but he looks old and he obviously hasn’t been fighting.
It doesn’t make sense at all for a fighter ranked as high as Ruiz should be fighting someone like Ibeabuchi. It’s a fight that has trouble written all over it if you’re Ibeabuchi.
According to Philboxing, Ibeabuchi won’t be taking a tune-up fight before he faces Ruiz, which is kind of troubling because he clearly could easily be slipped on one of the many cards coming up for a tune-up against a 3rd tier heavyweight that was no threat to planting him on the canvas.
Even when Ibeabuchi was in his price back in the late 90s, he wasn’t that great of a heavyweight. He was short at 6’2”, easy to hit, and he didn’t have huge power despite all the muscles he had on his frame. Ibeabuchi went life and death with David Tua in 1997 in winning a close decision. This is the same Tua that would later lose to Lennox Lewis by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision just three years later in 2000.
Ruiz hits really hard and he’s going to be bad news for Ibeabuchi, because the guy is so easy to hit and now really old at 44.
Hopefully for Ibeabuchi’s sake the Nevada Commission steps in and prevents the Ruiz-Ibeabuchi fight from taking place unless Ibeabuchi takes a tune-up fight or two first so that they can make sure that he’ll hold together without falling apart from a tough fight.
Ruiz isn’t that great of a heavyweight, but he can punch with a ton of power. He struggled to beat Siarhei Liakhovich in 2014 in winning a close 10 round decision. Ruiz then came back and fought better in 2015 in beating the over-matched Joell Godfrey and Raphael Zumbano Love.
It’s unclear what Arum’s end game is for Ruiz, because he doesn’t look like someone that is capable of winning a world title. I guess he must believe that he could get lucky against someone like WBC champion Deontay Wilder or IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champ Tyson Fury. I think Ruiz loses badly to both of those fighters.