14 Years Ago Today: Joe Calzaghe Ruined Jeff Lacy

By James Slater - 03/04/2020 - Comments

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Has Tyson Fury Done Something Similar To Deontay Wilder?

Not long after Tyson Fury had put the final touches to the handiwork he showed in his massive rematch with Deontay Wilder on February 22, boxing pundits were writing, and saying, how the heavyweight had perhaps pulled off the finest ever “away” win scored by a British fighter. Fury, manhandling Wilder far away from his Manchester home, proved in Las Vegas he is the number-one heavyweight in the world.

Rewind to March 4, 2006, and go down quite a few pounds, to 168, and Joe Calzaghe, unbeaten like Fury, met powerful puncher, the groomed for stardom Jeff Lacy, unbeaten like Wilder. What followed in Manchester was a brutal savaging, a total outclassing of one fighter by another, as underdog Calzaghe gave Lacy a fearful hiding. It was as beautiful as it was shocking to watch.

The same thing could be said of Fury’s undressing of Wilder. Wilder never took over one thousand punches as Lacy did, yet he might have had the fight not been mercifully stopped (at the considerate hand of ex-pro Mark Breland) in round seven. The comparisons between both fights are plentiful.

Aside from the, it could have been crucial, fact that Lacy and Wilder had wholly different corners during their hour of destiny, both beaten warriors share a lot in common. Both Lacy and Wilder were lethal power-punchers who had no Plan-B for when raw power was not enough. Both Wilder and Lacy were/are deeply religious men who believed God would see to it that they were victorious. And both Lacy and Wilder had seriously underestimated their opposition ahead of their career-biggest fights.

As we know, Lacy, a good fighter who might have had greatness in him had he not been busted up, demoralised and humiliated by Calzaghe, was never the same again after his date with the devil. We have yet to see if Wilder, who was busted up, demoralised and humiliated by Fury, will be able to bounce back. Has Wilder still got greatness in him, or did Fury, arguably as great a British fighter as Calzaghe, beat the devil out of Wilder?

Calzaghe only fought five more fights after destroying Lacy. Fury may also box just a few more times after having destroyed Wilder. If Fury did in fact do to Wilder what Calzaghe did to Lacy. But did he do so?

Is Wilder made of sterner stuff than Lacy?