by James Slater – Though both men are way past their once formidable best, all-time great Roy Jones Junior especially, Jones and Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy are talking a great fight ahead of their August 15th showdown in Biloxi, Mississippi. Lacy, the younger man by eight years at age 32, has gone as far as to all but promise he will knock Jones out when they meet. This despite the fact that the former IBF super-middleweight champion has looked a virtual shell of himself since taking the 12-round beating Joe Calzaghe laid on him in 2006, and despite the fact that he has not stopped an opponent since..
The intriguing (to a degree) fight takes place at light-heavyweight – 175 being the poundage the 40-year-old Jones has boxed practically full time at since 1996 – and this makes Lacy’s boast all the more unrealistic (Lacy has not boxed above the 170-mark since 2001). With Jones being the naturally more comfortable man at light-heavyweight and with the former pound-for-pound king looking like a less faded force than “Left Hook,” what chance does the 32-year-old really have of becoming only the third man to stop R.J? Slim and none, etc!
Still, you can’t really fault Lacy’s bravado, and at least his big talk will almost certainly make it a sure thing he comes in in top shape and tries his best. Actually, despite his recent struggles in the ring, Lacy has always been a guy with enormous heart and courage. But can he really KO Jones? Or is Jeff guilty of thinking wishfully?
Jones, too, has predicted a crushing victory, as was to be expected, but Lacy got off some good lines whilst hyping the fight recently.
“I’m a puncher and if Roy says it’s not going to go twelve, then so be it,” Lacy said confidently. “With the way I feel right now I agree with Roy, this fight won’t go the distance. I plan on bringing everything into the ring on August 15th.
“Neither [Antonio] Tarver nor [Glen] Johnson hit as hard as I do. The fight will end in a KO and Roy will not hear the final bell.”
Of course, talk is cheap, and it’s debatable at best that Lacy hits harder than Tarver and/or Johnson. In fact, Lacy could be a shot fighter – as easy-to-hit and as worn he’s looked in the four wins and the one loss he’s racked up since facing Calzaghe. And while Jones was also hammered by the Welshman, Roy at least decked Calzaghe in the opening round and made the action close for a further three rounds. There is little doubt, Jones appears to have more left in the tank than does his younger rival.
But does that mean Jones will win by KO on August 15th? Is there not a good chance the two past-their-best warriors will box somewhat cautiously, as they go the full route? I think a distance fight is a lot more likely than a Lacy KO win, and a little more likely than even a Jones KO win.
Despite all the serious fighting talk that has come from both men, a violently short fight looks unlikely. Jones has to be the pick, and he may force a late stoppage. I take the 40-year-old to win by comfortable decision. Remember, despite his recent average-at-best form, Lacy has never once been knocked out in 28 pro bouts. “Left Hook” is pretty damn durable.
Look for Lacy to win himself some satisfaction by making it to the final bell in Biloxi.