As Nigerian-born English boxer, Anthony Joshua, gets set to take on Ukrainian Vladimir Klitschko for the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) titles on Saturday inside Wembley Stadium, Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at Nigerians who have either won world heavyweight titles or made big impacts.
1. SAMUEL PETER
Known as the Nigerian Nightmare, Samuel Peter achieved global fame when he
won the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title at Plaza de Toros, Cancún, Mexico in 2008.
A quarter-finalist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with Team Nigeria, Peter knocked out Russian-American Oleg Maskaev in round six to claim the belt.
Unfortunately, in his first title defence also in 2008, Peter lost the WBC heavyweight title to Ukrainian Vitaly Klitschko who had retired as WBC champion in November 2005.
Though yet to announce his retirment from boxing, Peter have had a total of 42 professional fights, 36 wins, 29 via knockouts and six loses.
2. HENRY AKINWANDE
Born in London in 1965, Henry Akinwande came to Nigeria as a four-year-old before returning to England in 1986 at the age of 21.
Akinwande who represented Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, turned professional in 1989 and won all of his first 18 bouts.
In 1996, Akinwande became the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight champion after knocking out American Jeremy Williams in round three. The WBO heavyweight title had been vacated by legendary American boxer Riddick Bowe.
Akinwande who went on to defend the WBO title twice, vacated it when he fought and lost to the then WBC champion Lennox Lewis in 1997 after he was disqualified in round five for repeated holding.
After losing to Czech Republic's Ondřej Pála via unanimous decision in 2008, Akinwande called it quits.
Akinwande's record reads 55 fights, 50 wins, 30 by knockouts, four losses and one draw.
3. HERBIE HIDE
Real name, Herbert Okechukwu Maduagwu, Herbie Hide was born in Nigeria before moving to England as a youngster.
Hide won 49 of his 53 fights, securing 43 knockouts and four defeats.
Known as the Dancing Destroyer, Hide became the WBO heavyweight champion in 1994 following his seventh round knockout win against holder Michael Bennt.
In 1995 Hide defended his WBO title against Riddick Bowe but was knocked out in round six despite putting up an impressive display against the legendary American boxer.
Hide had another shot at the WBO title in 1997 and reclaimed the belt after knocking out America's Tony Tucker in round two.
In June 1999, Hide faced Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko at the London Arena and was knocked out in two rounds, a defeat that meant Hide never featured as a main contender at heavyweight again.
In 2003, Hide was 'attacked by a group of men' in a Norwich night club which resulted in his subsequent arrest and conviction for 'possession of an offensive weapon, a 10-inch kitchen knife', for which he was fined £750.
4. IKE IBEABUCHI
Ike Ibeabuchi had all the attributes to become a world champion, but his troubles outside the ring wouldn't allow him achieve his dream.
Before his troubles disrupted his progress in the heavyweight, Ibeabuchi had won 20 of his fights, winning 15 by knockouts without any loss.
Ibeabuchi made his debut in 1994 and after impressing in his previous fights, he took on then undefeated Samoan-New Zealander David Tua for the WBC International Heavyweight title in 1997 which he won via unanimous decision.
The fight between Ibeabuchi and Tua set a CompuStat heavyweight division record with 1,730 punches thrown, with Ibeabuchi also setting the individual CompuStat record by throwing 975 punches and averaging 81 per round.
The fight established Ibeabuchi as the top contender for the world heavyweight title. But couple of months after the Tua fight, Ibeabuchi abducted the 15-year-old son of his former girlfriend and slammed his car into a concrete pillar and was sentenced to 120 days in jail after pleading guilty to false imprisonment.
Ibeabuchi came out of prison in 1998 and defeated future world heavyweight champion Chris Byrd but in 1999 he was sentenced to 16 years imprison after attacking a 21-year-old woman.
He has since announced that he will be returning to the ring at the age of 42 to resume his professional career.Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.