NEW YORK (Sept. 31, 2005) – The long and winding path to superstardom is quickly approaching its zenith for talented, undefeated Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, who will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight titles against IBF No. 5 contender Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).. Gary Shaw Productions, LLC will promote the event from Caesars Tahoe in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
In the co-feature, IBF Bantamweight Champion Rafael Marquez will defend his belt for the sixth time when he takes on International Boxing Organization (IBO) 118-pound Champion/IBF No. 1 contender, Silence Mabuza. Originally scheduled for Oct. 1, this title bout was postponed on Monday, Sept. 26, when promoter Gary Shaw reported that Marquez became ill during fight week.
One of the best and most feared pound-for-pound fighters today, Lacy will make his 14th SHOWTIME appearance and fourth defense of the IBF belt he won with an impressive eighth-round TKO over Syd Vanderpool Oct. 2, 2004, on SHOWTIME.
Most, including Lacy, thought his next fight would be against fellow unbeaten Joe Calzaghe in a world title 168-pound unification bout. However, Calzaghe reportedly suffered a broken hand during his unanimous decision win over Evans Ashira on Sept. 10, putting that fight on hold.
The first 2000 Olympian to capture a world title, Lacy successfully defended his crown in smashing fashion in his last start and his first before the hometown fans in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. In perhaps a career-best performance, Lacy dropped Reid twice in the fifth and once in the sixth and seventh rounds. He was ahead, 70-57, on all the scorecards at the time the bout was stopped.
In Lacy’s other title defenses, he registered a hard-fought 12-round unanimous decision over Sheika (117-111 and 115-113 twice) on Dec. 2, 2004, and an exciting seventh-round TKO over Rubin Williams in a fast-paced, terrific skirmish on March 5, 2005. Both bouts aired on SHOWTIME.
One of nine children, Lacy and three of his siblings were raised in St. Petersburg by their father, Hydra. A former boxer, Hydra competed in the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials and went 13-4-1 in the pros. Jeff, who went 209-12 in the amateurs himself, won numerous competitions and made it to the second round of the 2000 Olympics.
Pemberton (29-3-1, 24 KOs), of Fair Haven, Mass., will enter the ring as the International Boxing Union (IBU) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) 168-pound titleholder. This will be his first appearance in a world title bout.
Pemberton captured the IBU crown on March 21, 2003. The following July 25, he claimed the NABF belt with a 12-round split decision over Sheika (scored 114-113 twice and 111-116). He followed that performance with a stunning 10th-round TKO of Sheika in a rematch on Jan. 23, 2004. Both slugfests were “Fight of the Year” candidates.
A winner of five in a row, including the last three by TKO, Pemberton will not be in with a total stranger on Nov. 5.
Before turning pro, Pemberton was in the United States Army stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C. While serving, he was a stinger, a gunner, and part of the 82nd airborne. Pemberton made his professional debut in Providence, R.I., on Oct. 26, 1994, with a first-round TKO over Manuel Feliz.
Marquez (34-3, 30 KOs), of Mexico City, Mexico, has successfully defended his title five times since knocking out previously undefeated champion Tim Austin in the eighth round on Feb. 23, 2002.
Marquez, whose brother, Juan Manuel Marquez, is recognized as one of the most talented featherweights in the world, currently is riding a 13-bout winning streak that dates to December 2000. During the streak, he has knocked out former world champions Mark Johnson and Mauricio Pastrana.
In his most recent title defense, Marquez cruised to a 12-round decision over Ricardo Vargas on May 28, 2005, in Los Angeles. Marquez floored his opponent in the fight’s final minute to ensure the nod by the scores 116-111 twice and 118-109.
Mabuza (18-0, 15 KOs), of Johannesburg, South Africa, captured the IBO bantamweight title in only his 11th professional bout by knocking out Jose Sanjuanelo in the sixth round of their March 2, 2002, bout in Brakpan, South Africa.
Undefeated as a pro, Mabuza successfully defended his title for a sixth time in his last bout by recording a 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion, Cruz Carbajal, on May 13, 2005, in Las Vegas.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins, Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.