Boxing


Sharkie's Machine: Jeff Lacy Beats Rubin Williams By TKO 7

06.03.05 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr.: Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy (19-0-1-ND-15 KO's) defended his IBF Super Middleweight Title against Rubin "Hollywood" Williams (26-2-15 KO's), ranked 15th in the division.

This was a good fight. Williams and Lacy (photo: Tom Casino/Showtime) were battling from start to finish. Williams had some good moments but he failed to make adjustments, like staying off the ropes, and he fell prey to Lacy's volume and power.

The six foot, two inch tall Williams was effective when he boxed from the outside, where he popped Lacy with his jab, followed by right hands that gave a good account of himself. At times, he utilized his height and reach advantage, but not always.. He caught Lacy with regularity in many of the rounds, but he'd always let himself get pressured into the ropes, where Lacy could steal the rounds Williams might have won. To Lacy's credit, he always kept the pressure on and in the end, imposed his will on Williams.

If you watched this fight on Showtime, chances are you were being led to think Lacy was amazingly superior to Williams. That was not the case. When even Lacy threw a punch, hit or miss, he was showered with praise from the master of brown-nosed announcing, Steve Alberts (Showtime's lead Commentator).

If this were twenty years ago, when fights could be heard on the radio.and you had to listen to Alberts call the action, you'd never know what was really going on in the ring. Alberts kissed up to Jeff Lacy ad naseaum. His exaggerated language in describing everything Lacy did was painful to listen to.

It was a close fight in a lot of the rounds. There were no knockdowns but midway into the seventh round, Williams was getting hammered against the ropes and referee Tony Weeks halted the action after twice asking Williams to fight back. Williams threw two punches between requests and that was not enough for Weeks, who rendered Lacy the winner by TKO 7. Williams did not protest the stoppage.

Jeff Lacy did his job and out punched Williams in most of the rounds. Williams put up a good fight and was catching Lacy with clean punches but Lacy showed a good beard. Williams never showed enough killer instinct to follow through when he did score and paid the price. Not only would he let Lacy off the hook, but he would always allow himself to be pushed into the ropes, where Lacy would take over the momentum.

Williams lost the fight because he consistently let Lacy corner him in the final moments of the rounds. Though Williams did some decent work on the inside when they were close, the advantage on the inside belonged to Lacy, who never stopped punching and always outworked Williams. Williams' best chance of winning depended on using his boxing skills and longer reach to his advantage. He didn't. With better discipline, he might have won this fight. He showed a lot of heart and I'm sure his stock went up, despite the loss.

After the fight, Lacy yelled out, "Joe, I'm coming to get you!" referring to unbeaten WBO Champion, Joe Calzaghe (38-0-0-30 KO's), who is scheduled to fight Brian Magee (23-1-0-16 KO's) in Belfast Ireland on March 18th. But who knows? Maybe it was aimed at Joe Hutchison (33-4-2-15 KO's), who's journeyed all the way from Lightweight to Super Middle.

As for Calzaghe, he fought only twice in 2004 and once in 2003. I have to give Lacy the edge for activity level alone. Calzaghe is promoted by Frank Warren and has never fought outside of Europe, rarely outside of the U.K. His handlers do notappear interested in chasing any big name fighters so much as the typical obscure variety and always on his turf-thus continuing
to frustrate whatever fans Calzaghe still has. Joe is possibly a better boxer than Lacy, but Lacy has been more active and building his confidence with each win over his carefully appointed challengers.

Besides Calzaghe, I'd like to see Lacy take on a few guys, like up and coming Danny Green, Anthony Mundine or other Champions like, Mikkel Kessler (WBA), Marcus Beyer (WBC) or WBO Interim "Champ," Mario Veit.

Super Middleweight is one of the dullest divisions in boxing. There are not many names you can roll off as prospective match ups for Lacy when Calzaghe's camp declines his challenge. But how good is Jeff Lacy? Can he beat any of the top guys in the division? Guys like Beyer, Magee, Veit, Green, Andrade, Kessler and Mundine? We'll never know if he does not fight them. Speculation based on hype, will never answer the question.

I'd particularly like to see Lacy take on Australia's Anthony Mundine (23-2-0-18 KO's), or the guy who last beat Mundine, Manny Siaca (18-5-0-16 KO's) of Puerto Rico. Those fights have the potential to be exciting. A rematch with Vitali Tsypko (13-0) should be considered since their fight ended in a No Contest after Tsypko suffered a bad cut from a head butt in the second round that saw that bout stopped in June of last year. I'd classify that as unfinished business for Lacy.

What Lacy needs is to be in a fight where nobody already knows who is going to win. So far, his fights have all suffered from acute predictability. That is more testimony to the lesser quality of his opponents than his greatness as a fighter.

Lacy vs. Calzaghe would be an exciting match up. It should be mandatory that the so-called 'Champions' fight each other at least once a year. I don't know about you-but I'm sick of Champions NOT fighting each other. Does the marketing of fighters rely on having four Champions per division instead of ONE? Having four waters down the term "Champion," which by definition means, 'the holder of first place.' Last time I checked, Boxing was an individual
sport, not a team sport.

Bernard Hopkins has won all four of the major Titles at Middleweight and IS the Champion of his division.

Unless the four SMW Champions face and eliminate each other, there is no Champion, just four top contenders, each with a piece of the Title. There can only be one REAL Champion per division in Boxing. It would only be right if Lacy, Beyer, Calzaghe and Kessler would answer the question-in the ring-of who the real Champion is.

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Agree or disagree? Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 06.03.2005



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