Top Five Most Controversial Boxers Of All Time
The sport of boxing has seen its fair share of colourful characters over the years. With the sport geared up to driving interest and shifting tickets for big name fights, the big personalities are everywhere. Fighters often court controversy for their bravado and pre-fight claims but there are a few that have over stepped the mark with not only their antics in the ring but also in their personal life. Here are FREEbets.org.uk we take you on a rundown of our list of the five most controversial boxers to have ever graced the ring.
5. Tyson Fury
An individual whose mouth can often get him in hot water, yet one who really does not get the credit he deserves for his boxing ability. Coming from a traveller background, Fury quickly developed a reputation as a hard-hitting heavyweight and won domestic and commonwealth titles by the time he turned 23. A record of 24 straight victories eventually saw him earn a title shot at the formidable Wladimir Klitschko, who had dominated the division and gone over 10 years without defeat. However in Klitschko's adopted German homeland, Fury won via a unanimous decision to become the heavyweight champion of the world.
However despite his incredible achievement, the negative headlines surrounding fury have not been far behind. A devout Christian, Fury has been accused of making homophobic, sexist and anti-semitic comments over the years though he has defended some of these allegations by saying they are beliefs attributed to his faith.
His out of the ring antics have also been of a more light-hearted nature also, such as in the press conference ahead of the Klitschko fight when he arrived dressed as Batman. A rematch between the two has had two postponed and ultimately called off due to allegations of doping and drug abuse by Fury, though there are concerns over his mental health. He has announced his retirement from the sport before quickly stating he was merely joking with the media. Whatever the future holds for Tyson Fury however, it is well worth remembering just how monumental his achievement of beating Klitschko really was.
4. Ike Ibeabuchi
Ike Ibeabuchi is far from the most household name on this list but he was in fact one of the most exciting heavyweight prospects during the 90's. The Nigerian won the WBC International title in 1997 when he was triumphant in a thrilling fight with Australian David Tua, in a bout that set the record for the most punches ever thrown in a heavyweight contest. However he never really reached his full potential after being dogged by a number of issues away from the ring, the first of which came just a matter of months after the Tua fight.
Ibeabuchi kidnapped the 15-year-old son of a former girlfriend and drove at speed on the interstate before crashing in to a concrete pillar. The boy was left with serious injuries with Ibeabuchi believed to have been attempting to commit suicide during the incident and was subsequently sentenced to 120 days in jail. After his release he seemingly got back on track to win a further three fights, including against future WBO World Heavyweight champion Chris Byrd. After the Byrd fight however, with his career seemingly going in a very impressive direction Ibeabuchi was involved in another controversy as he was accused of assaulting a woman in his Las Vegas hotel room. Investigations were then relaunched in to another similar case against Ibeabuchi in Las Vegas as well as two other accusations from women in Arizona.
His crimes caught up with hime when he was sentenced for charges of battery with an intent to commit a crime and also for attempted sexual assault and spent 15 years in prison as a result. Having now been released, there is speculation Ibeabuchi is planning a comeback as he looks to add to his record of 20 wins from 20 fights with 15 knockouts.