Ijeoma “The Praise” Egbunine (born December 30, 1980 in Lagos, Nigeria) is a female boxer and is currently the WBE Light Heavyweight World Champion and WIBF Light Heavyweight World Champion. She trains under Henry Okafor of Team Praise in Marietta, GA, United States.
Ijeoma Egbunine’s first professional match was a win by unanimous decision against Janaya Davis in December 2004. That decision was highly contested by Davis, however, who claimed she was set up to lose by the promoter. Egubine did not take these comments lightly, and promised to be more aggressive during their next fight. In her second match against the Atlanta favorite on February 25, 2005, Egbunine KO’ed Davis in the second round. According to , “In the second round the intensity did not let up as the bad blood began to boil between the two. At the 30 second mark of the 2nd round Egbunine landed a crushing overhand right that sent Davis brutally to the canvas. Davis struggled to get to her feet as she fell for a second time trying. As she stumbled to her feet referee Jim Korb stopped the fight — Jose Santiago”
Her only loss came on March 12, 2005, to Nikki Eplion (in her first fight since losing to Laila Ali) in a close decision . The bout, only the third for Egbunine, was the main event on the seven-fight “A Punch Of Class” in front of 600 fans in the ballroom at the Radisson Hotel, Huntington, West Virginia.
Since then, Egbunine went on a string of victories (including 7 more KOs) against a number of talented boxers, including Carlette Ewell and Valerie Mahfood .
On Saturday, June 17, 2006, she took on the well known Åsa Sandell of Sweden at the Joel Coliseum Annex, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Sandell had fought Laila Ali in December 2005 and lost in the 5th round. Egbunine won with a TKO in the second round, taking her one step closer to an inevitable first-time match-up with the popular Ali.
Ijeoma Egbunine is scheduled to fight 28-year-old Laila Ali this summer in Cape Town, South Africa . Some proceeds from the August 5 bout will benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the light heavyweight matchup will be part of a monthlong celebration of women’s empowerment in South Africa.
- Professional boxing: 13 Fights; 12 Wins; 8 KOs
- IWBF World Light Heavyweight 1st champion
- WIBA World Light Heavyweight 1st champion
RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE 2006 Ali’s Camp Lies to Stop Fight
The Praise is scheduled to fight LaiLa Ali in South Africa on Aug 5, 2006. However, per Damon Bingham/Team Ali, The Praise has backed out do to passport issues and that is flat out lie.
LaiLa’s camp Team Ali used Ijeoma Egbunine heritage, because The Praise is from Nigeria, to build awareness of the fight in Cape Town South Africa. Ali is in South Africa and conducted a 3-week marketing campaign for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Now that the fight is 2 weeks out they are running scared.
Ijeoma Egbunine is resident of Atlanta GA and small business owner of THE PRAISE GYM in Smyrna GA.
The Praise is ready to fight Ali on Aug 5th. The public has a right to know that Team Ali will stop at nothing including lies and trickery to sabotage a fight with Ijeoma “The Praise” Egbunine.
Without Laila Ali, they would be no women boxing. She is the poster child of female boxers and carries torch for her father’s legacy. They do not want The Praise to knock her out in South Africa 26 years after original Rumble in the Jungle.
The Praise to LaiLa Ali “COME LET US FIGHT”. She is more than ready to Knock LaiLa Ali out, almost 26 years to date of Muhammad Ali’s Rumble in Jungle.