Taylor Vs. Lacy - Who Wins, "Bad Intentions" or "Left Hook?"

Jeff Lacy18.08.08 - by James Slater: At one time a short while back, it seemed November 15th's WBC super-middleweight elimination clash between Jeff Lacy and Jermain Taylor would not happen. Lacy was threatening to quit, saying he'd had enough of "A very dirty business," and it seemed he meant what he said. However, somewhere along the road "Left Hook" changed his mind and his intriguing fight with "Bad Intentions" was back on. Now that it is, who wins?

Both guys have something to prove. While Taylor hasn't fought since losing his two battles with current middleweight king Kelly Pavlik, former IBF 168-pound champ Lacy has not looked good in the fights he's had since his sole career loss to Joe Calzaghe. Despite wining three bouts post-Calzaghe, all of them on points, the 31-year-old has failed to look anything like the monster he appeared to be before he tangled with "The Pride Of Wales." Indeed, when Jeff first announced that he was quitting shortly after his last fight - a hard-fought win over Epifanio Mendoza this past July 23rd - it was assumed Lacy was retiring because he'd realised he was done. Will his decision to go on and box Taylor prove to be one he will live to regret?

We don't know what the 30-year-old Taylor has left. In not having set foot in a ring since his points loss rematch to "The Ghost," Jermain has a big question mark next to him. Will he be the same fighter, up at 168-pounds, as he was as a middleweight before Pavlik KO'd him? As shot as some fans have claimed Lacy to have looked in his last three bouts, at least he has been in the ring. Should Taylor perhaps have taken a tune-up before going right back in at top level? Lacy is, after all, still a fiercely proud and gutsy warrior. By the time the fight rolls around in November, "Bad Intentions" will have been out for a solid eight months. It just may be that the ring-rust factor affecting Taylor will give Lacy, as faded as he may be, something of an equaliser.

To this writer's mind, Taylor, though he has not won a fight since May of 2007, must be made the favourite. But the action should be extremely lively in the early rounds at least. Lacy's best shot, surely, will be to jump right on his slightly younger rival before he has a chance to really get going. I can see "Left Hook" doing just that, and trying his best to land a haymaker that wins him the fight.

Whether or not Lacy gets lucky, we will have to wait and see. But I have a feeling this fight will be in no way an easy night for Taylor. It is to be hoped Jermain does not think it will be.

Article posted on 19.08.2008

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