The streets of Las Vegas will remain a little safer for the city's working girls now that Ike “The President” Ibeabuchi has been denied parole.

The former heavyweight thug got the thumbs down on Tuesday and won't be eligible to apply for parole again until December 2007.

With the ruling, there was a collective sigh of relief heard from both the Vegas Lap Dancer's union and the top contenders in the heavyweight division.

That's because Ike wants to fight again once he's out of the Big House, or whatever it is they call prison now days.

His yearning to return to the ring is a common affliction among heavyweight has-beens who are occasionally required to spend hard time away from home. Lock them up for awhile – take away their wide-screen TVs, their walk-in closets and the keys to their BMW's – and suddenly, all they can think about is being heavyweight champion of the world.

See ex-felons: Tyson, Mike; or Bowe, Riddick.

You can't blame Ike for talking about fighting again. He's like the guy who picked all the right numbers, but got drunk on the way home and lost his lottery ticket. All he can do is watch someone else collect the money.

Since they slammed the prison door shut on Ike's promising career, the heavyweight division has fallen on hard times. Like the rest of us, Ike's probably witnessed the carnage. The only difference is, he's watched it from behind bars, where he couldn't do anything about it.

Before getting five-to-30 years for battery with intent to commit crime and attempted sexual assault on a woman who wanted the money up front for a lap dance, Ike was fast becoming the division's biggest nightmare. He went toe-to-toe with David Tua for 12 rounds and beat him. And in 1999, he stopped Chris Byrd with a brutal left hook in the fifth round of their fight. It's the only time Byrd didn't go the distance.

By the time the law grabbed Ike and made America a safer place to live, he was 20-0 with 15 knockouts.

Then everything changed.

After a time in a mental hospital, Ike moved on to communal showers, food trays and doors clanging shut. Byrd moved on to the IBF heavyweight championship.

Tell me that hasn't caused a few restless nights in the cell block at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada.

Today, he's still only 31, which means he's not ring worn or battle weary or slower than the night desk at the Cockroach Inn. But now it looks like he'll be closer to 35 if he gets out in three-plus years.

If only he hadn't tried to assault that Las Vegas stripper in his hotel room, he'd probably be heavyweight champion of the world right now. If only he wasn't a monster.

“I refuse to be forgotten,” he told recently. “I refuse to be denied. I refuse to be deprived. I'm ready to get back what is mine.” Well, the parole board refused to listen.

I wonder if a lack of remorse had anything to do with it.