Jeff Lacy Added To Hatton Mayweather Card

jeff lacyBy Matthew Hurley: Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, last seen struggling to gain a majority decision over Vitali Tsypko in December of 2006, will make his ring return on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather – Ricky Hatton bout against Peter Manfredo on December 8th in Las Vegas. Lacy, 22-1 with 17 KOs is best remembered for losing his IBF super middleweight title in a lopsided decision to Joe Calzaghe in March of 2006.

The heavily hyped American entered the bout as a betting favorite but Calzaghe proved to be too much for the young boxing fighter. Manfredo, 28-4 with 13 KOs, was stopped by Calzaghe in the third round in April of this year. He has since won two in a row.

Lacy looked like a can’t-miss-candidate for stardom during his rise to a world title belt. He stopped Syd Vanderpool in the 8th round in 2004 and was immediately accorded the fanfare of a superstar by many fans and much of the media. His all pressure style and punching power brought good ratings to television broadcasts and he seemed to be the whole package. It was a second round knockout of weak chinned Scott Pemberton that fueled both the fighter’s ego and his management’s overzealous desire to capitalize on his momentum that led him to cross the ocean and land right at Joe Calzaghe’s door at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England.

Almost immediately Lacy knew something was wrong and his demeanor at the pre-fight press conferences changed dramatically from outgoing to stunted silence. Training camp hadn’t gone well and the media attention began to crack his resolve. This, coupled with a fighter in Calzaghe who was determined to silence his critics, led to a picture perfect boxing lesson that left Lacy a broken fighter. His inexperience cost him dearly in the ring and his lack of maturity caused him to withdraw when criticism was heaped upon his broad shoulders.

Then, in his comeback fight, he took on Tsypko, and tore his left rotator cuff in the second round. The injury led to surgery and a year long layoff. With his surgically repaired shoulder Lacy is now prepared to get back in the game.

Manfredo, who came up short on The Contender series, also, ironically, fought and knocked out Scott Pemberton just before he took on Calzaghe. The young fighter from Providence has decent boxing skills but was no match for Calzaghe and should Lacy be in good health when he steps into the ring will probably provide a pretty good test as to where Lacy is at this point in time. What Manfredo lacks in power he makes up for with his will and pretty good speed.

Should Lacy come out of this bout with a win and no injuries he will find himself just on the periphery of an interesting middleweight / super middleweight stronghold filled with terrific fighters and potential big money match ups. However, coming off a serious injury and trying to reestablish himself psychologically, he should dictate a slow forward progression. Jumping into the fire got him severely burned the first time around, this time he should re-tool his game and completely prepare himself before taking on the division’s elite.

Article posted on 17.10.2007

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