Jeff Lacy Out-Points Otis Griffin, Calls Out Roy Jones Junior

by James Slater - Last night in Tampa, Florida, former IBF super-middleweight champion Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy of St. Petersburg returned to winning ways with a close, competitive 10 round points win over Sacramento's Otis Griffin. Lacy, the same age as his opponent at 31, prevailed by a majority verdict that was scored 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95. In coming back from his November, 2008 loss to Jermain Taylor, Lacy improved to 25-2(17). Griffin, who said after the fight he felt he'd done enough to have won and that he'd been the victim of a "home-town" verdict, fell to 19-5-2(7)..

According to various reports, Lacy began the fight strongly, was out-worked in the middle rounds as Griffin came back, and then the former champ, swollen around both eyes, won the 9th and 10th rounds. In the final session, the two men traded punches and fought to the bell. Lacy later said that Griffin had his respect after having given him such a tough fight. Griffin, however, said his hand should have been the one that was raised. It wasn't, though, and now "Left Hook" can look ahead to his next bout.

In attendance last night was former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones Junior, and after beating Griffin Lacy said it was Jones he wants to fight next. "I would love to fight Roy Jones Junior, anytime, here in Tampa," Lacy said.

As fans know, Jones, now a 40-year-old veteran, came back from his one-sided points defeat at the hands of the now retired Joe Calzaghe, by stopping Omar Sheika in the 5th round at light-heavyweight on March 21st. Maybe the 53-5(39) all-time great will take Lacy's offer and fight him next. The fight would probably have to take place at light-heavyweight, as Jones would really struggle to get down to 168 - a weight he has not fought at since January of 1996. Maybe Lacy will make the move up to 175 so as to get it on with Jones. Time will tell, but a Jones-Lacy fight would certainly appeal to some and there would be no obvious or huge betting favourite going into such a bout.

Both men are nothing like the fighters they used to be - Jones especially - but if they met each other they would be pretty closely matched indeed. Lacy, despite the tough battles he's been through, has never been stopped, whereas Jones - though he's come back well enough since and though his reducing weight may have had a lot to do with it - was iced by Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson few years ago.

At 5'10," Lacy is just an inch shorter than Jones, so maybe the 31-year-old would be able to fight effectively up at light-heavyweight ( Lacy fought last night's bout at just over 170-pounds, his second heaviest career weight).

He continues to take too many punches and that will never change, and he is unlikely to ever reign as a world champion again - but Jeff Lacy may have a few more fights before he's through.

Article posted on 11.04.2009

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