David "The Terminator" Tua Discusses Ibeabuchi, Tyson and Lewis

By Scoop Malinowski

 

I asked the recently retired former world heavyweight title challenger David Tua for his thoughts on Ike Ibeabuchi, the man he battled in a fierce twelve round battle...

"He had a good chin. He could take some good shots. And he wasn't shy to mix it up."

Years ago I recall Chris Byrd saying Ibeabuchi was also intelligent, which Tua confirmed. "Yeah, he was a very, very smart fighter. He would throw punches from angles, movements. I think he was pretty much the whole thing, a complete fighter. He didn't just rely on the left hook or right hand, he gave a lot of different looks. It just so happened that my will - and I kept the faith throughout the fight. And I came prepared for that fight as well."

 

Though Tua lost a close decision to Ibeabuchi in 1997, which cost him his WBC International title, he accepts the verdict. "I thought I had done enough to win. When you're fighting the champion, respect to that, it's almost like you have to get it. I think I learned a lot from that fight."

Who does Tua favor, Lennox Lewis or Ike (Tua also lost a decision to Lewis in 2000)?

"I'll probably have to give it to Ike. Not only was a he a good boxer, he was a fighter/brawler as well. Lewis was the same thing. I think, respectfully, I would have to give Ike the edge. But, you know, to say the least, Lennox was a great athlete. I learned a lot from him."

When I asked for his thoughts on Mike Tyson, Tua's enthusiasm lit up. "He's an awesome human being and I always wanted to meet him. I met him once at the weigh-in of the Orlin Norris fight in Las Vegas. That was the first and the last. He was bending over tying his shoe and he looked up at me and gave a kind of smile. That was it. It was awesome."

Tua retired from boxing after losing to Alexander Ustinov in New Zealand.