Jeff Lacy Out-Pointed By Dhafir Smith – The End For “Left Hook?”

By James Slater – All but forgotten amidst the incredibly busy weekend of boxing taking place in England, Las Vegas and Washington, was last night’s super-middleweight clash between former IBF super-middleweight champ Jeff Lacy and unheralded journeyman Dhafir Smith. The 12-rounder that took place in 33-year-old Lacy’s hometown of Saint Petersburg, Florida contested something called the UBO title (vacant) and it is testament to how far the once formidable Lacy has fallen that he failed to win this strap.

Out-pointed by the 28-year-old from Pennsylvania (who was 23-19-7(4) coming in), Lacy lost via clear scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112. Despite still having a good looking pro record of 25-4(17) in losing again, the real story is told by the fact that Lacy has now lost three of his last four outings..

Ahead of last night’s comeback fight – having had shoulder treatment that left him feeling “unbelievable” – Lacy had been out for 14 months, and was looking forward to a new start. It was not to be, however, as he appeared reluctant to let the punches go. Being out-worked, Lacy left it too late and was unable to save the day via a late stoppage.

It is tough to see where Lacy goes from here, even if he does manage to overturn the loss in a rematch. It’s also hard for some younger fans to realise how big a deal Lacy was back in 2004/2005. Back then, with wins under his belt over good men like Omar Sheika, Robin Reid and Scott Pemberton, “Left Hook” was looked at as a future megastar. But then, in March of 2006, in a fight many good judges expected him to win, Lacy was brutalised for 12 long rounds by Welshman Joe Calzaghe.

It seems this painful loss (that should have been stopped well before the final bell) pretty much ruined Lacy, and he was never able to look like the powerful sensation he had resembled previously. After the Calzaghe loss Lacy captured three decent wins, but then suffered heavy defeats against Jermain Taylor and, in his only stoppage defeat to date, Roy Jones Junior.

Now, in losing to a man with 19 pro losses, Lacy looks finished, despite having had just 30 pro bouts. A good guy, it is hoped Lacy can move on and find things other than boxing to occupy his time.

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