30.11.05 – By Travis Marks: Eastsideboxing.com recently sat down with undefeated IBF and IBO super middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy at a press conference held in Gallagher’s Steakhouse for his unification bout with WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe. Lacy, coming off of a two round demolition of fifth ranked contender Scott Pemberton, is eager to get in the ring March 4, 2006 to prove who the best super middleweight is. Lacy let us in on his thoughts about this upcoming career defining fight.
Eastsideboxing.com: Jeff, How excited are you about this fight?
Jeff Lacy: Very excited, I’m amped for this fight. I’m eager that the fight is finally going down. The fight was originally scheduled for November 5th but it was postponed because of Joe’s hand injury. I wasn’t real sure that he really wanted the fight at the time but it means a lot for him to come to America to do the press conference. It sets things off and now it’s a downhill battle for this upcoming fight.
ESB: In the back of your mind are you still a little leery of this fight actually happening?
Lacy: I am a very positive guy; I see that the guy took the time to come over here so I am going to stay on a positive note. It would devastate me if it was postponed again. Because it’s a fight that everybody is talking about, it’s a fight that everybody wants to see. And for it to be happening now means a lot especially with him taking the initiative to come to America to do the press conference. This is a positive step. If things change I will be devastated
ESB: What do you think about him as a boxer?
Lacy: He is a great fighter; he has had 17 successful defenses of his title. He has been champion since 1997. Joe is a great combination fighter who comes forward. This is a fight with two guys who will be coming forward and it will make for a remarkable TV fight.
ESB: What possible difficulties do you see in this fight?
Lacy: I am a very positive person. I’m going in thinking about what I will do and not what he is going to do. Only thing I’m thinking about is that bell ringing, that’s the only difficulty I’m thinking about. As long as this fight goes down and he’s in that other corner I’ll be fine.
ESB: Do you run the risk of being over-confident because of the perception that he is reluctant to fight you?
Lacy: No, not at all. When he gets in the ring it shows me that he’s willing to win, it doesn’t matter. People will say what they say but when he gets in the ring it will let me know that he’s coming for my titles. I’m fighting to retain my title and to gain titles. The main thing is me staying undefeated. The thing that I fear is losing my undefeated record. I want to stay undefeated.
ESB: Many great athletes talk about a moment in time when things clicked in their minds where they finally figured things out. Has that happened to you yet? If so when?
Lacy: Yes, it’s starting to happen for me. There is a big difference in the type of fights I’ve been fighting recently than the ones I fought at the beginning of my professional career. Up until I won my title I had guys in there that were determined but when they got hit they were in survival mode. That worked against me a little bit because I couldn’t show all of my boxing ability and my skills because there would be only one guy in the ring trying to win. Since I won my world title things changed. Every time I’m defending my world title my opponents are coming to try to take something that I have. They also see the money, the dollars signs if they beat me. That’s the difference in me fighting before I won my title and now. There is more of a challenge and that’s what I like. I feel like I’m getting stronger and stronger. I feel more relaxed. This is a fight where two guys are going to be in there that are determined. It’s going to take me to a next level. All of my boxing skills will be on display. This fight gives me goose bumps every time I think about it. I kid you not, I’m not saying this just for the press. I’m saying this because of what I feel inside, this is what I am about, this type of fight.
ESB: You got “buzzed” in the fight with Omar Sheika, what are you working on to keep that from happening and what did you learn about yourself in that fight?
Lacy: It’s going to happen. That’s going to happen but it’s all about coming back from it. It’s about weathering the storm and coming out on top. I’m not the type of fighter that if you hit me with a great shot then it’s done for me or everything is going to go downhill. I’m going to look for a way to get around it, look for a way to weather the storm and to come out of there with something explosive when I feel I’m ready.
ESB: Your trademark is obviously the left hook, but that right uppercut is quite deadly, without giving away your game plan, what do you think will be the key to this fight?
Lacy: I think that being that he is a southpaw the right hand will come into play a lot. I also think my left hook will also play a major role. You can hit southpaws with lead right hands and they circle around and they don’t expect their opponent’s left hand to be strong and it’s easy to land a lead left hook to as southpaw as well————but I seriously think it will be the body shots.
ESB: If you happen to unify these titles will you stay at supper middleweight to rule or would you really move up to fight Tarver?
Lacy: It depends on what the fans want to see. I have called out Antonio Tarver and it’s been known that he doesn’t want to take the fight so right now my focus is on Joe Calzaghe and what happens after that we will see.
ESB: Quick question, do you know Allan Green the guy that knocked out Jaidon Codrington? He called you after the fight, is he going to have to wait on you or are you not going to pay attention to him?
Lacy: (laughing) If you go at everybody that calls you out…Basically Allan Green is like me when I started out. Young fighters want to fight the best. I had to pay my dues and he will have to pay his. When he makes a big name for himself and people know a little more about him and that money sounds right we’ll get in the ring and square off. But just by him calling me out is great because he put my name out on national TV.
ESB: Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
Lacy: This is a great fight to start out the year. I am really looking forward to this fight very much. This is going to be the first fight of my era. I think I’ll go to a new level after this fight. This is where it all starts.