Originally Posted by Flash88
LOL. He would occasionally throw a series of jabs to keep Tua at bay and then the two would start trading blows. Hardly indicative of someone being able to "box from the outside."
Besides, your argument of Ibeabuchi being able to box stemmed from the Byrd fight, which doesn't really make much sense either.
His jab was frequently snapping Tua's head back in that fight. Anyone acting as though that jab didn't make a major difference in that fight either hasn't seen it or hasn't seen it lately. It wasn't just a throwaway jab like you normally see in boxing with brawlers. It was a tight, solid jab that was making an impact. He just wasn't completely committed to it the way he should have been. Not only was the jab landing consistently all night, but he was working off that jab quite a bit, often turning it over for a really nice left hook from the outside.
I'm just going to randomly click through the fight and point out a couple of exhibits. It started literally right from the opening bell.
Check out these fluid combinations from the outside off of the jab ---> 7:55 - 8:45
Exhibit Two (14:48 - 15:51)
Exhibit Three (1:05 - 1:18)
Exhibit Four (3:57 - 4:15)
Those are just a few examples from scrolling through the first handful of rounds. Not sure how you can watch that and deduce that Ibeabuchi was not a skilled boxer from the outside.
As for Byrd, he was damn hard to hit cleanly from the outside. His MO was bouncing around from distance, making guys miss and occasionally scoring points with relatively light counter shots. He was great at making big guys look sloppy, which Ike did at times.
In that fight, he did try to use his jab quite a bit, but Byrd avoided it well. He instead went to more right leads from outside with success.
Ike did most of his biggest damage from the inside, but that was still being set up by good movement on the outside. He wasn't just rushing in. He also showed excellent boxing technique in his combinations and accuracy on the inside against a guy who was very hard to hit.
18:14 to the end of the round
Again, setting the right hand up behind the jab...
With most guys, they leave you a career where you definitively say what his strengths and weaknesses were. The whole thing with Ibeabuchi is trying to mete out moments in really the two fights that meant anything before his career ended and one of those only went five rounds. It's tricky and you can fall into a mythological "what could have been" scenario. However, I don't think there's any denying the guy's boxing skill, both inside and out.
The biggest issues I see when I re-watch his fights is a lack of discipline to those traits which would have made him much more difficult to beat. Despite his ability on the outside, he seemed to want to fight on the inside.
One thing I know for sure... I liked watching him fight and I tend to lean more towards boxers than brawlers. He liked working behind the jab, threw clean/crisp combinations, worked from different angles/levels to keep opponents off balance, kept his right hand at his chin for punches coming back and had a wide array of effective punches in his arsenal. I think he was a lot more versatile than you're giving him credit for.
Originally Posted by lefthook00
Oops, meant to say that Ike seemed to have suspicious endurance for a guy that big.
One of the amazing things is it was said prior to the Byrd fight that Ibeabuchi basically refused to spar in preparation. He didn't like sparring, apparently. He was either on something or a complete freak of nature... maybe both.