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Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy: An Active Champion? What a Concept!

On August 6, 2005, live from the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay, Florida, former United States Olympian, and current IBF super middleweight titlist Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy will defend his crown, which he won on October 2, 2004, via an impressive eighth round TKO over solid veteran contender Syd “The Jewel” Vanderpool. The contest, televised by Showtime, is part of their “Saturday Fight Night” boxing series. This will mark the
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third defense of his title, and the fourth fight that Lacy will be part of in the past ten months. A champion that is actually active and defending his title? What a concept! In an era when champions and superstars the likes of Oscar de la Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather, Jr, Kostya Tszyu, and every heavyweight champion in Don King’s stable fight only once a year, it is refreshing to see a young exciting champion like Lacy staying busy and giving us great, exciting fights.

His next foe, the Brit Robin “Grim Reaper” Reid, represents another solid and capable challenger who will probably give the champion a ton of trouble. What makes “Left Hook” such a great “T.V. fighter” is that he is as flawed as he is strong. Lacy leads with his face and loves to trade heavy artillery. His reign so far, although not against “world beaters,” has some decent pugilists who have all given Jeff problems. Just when it seemed like Omar Sheika was going to get him out of there, that “The Jewel” was too experienced, or that Rubin Williams was too quick with his right hand, Lacy stormed back, swinging away with both hands and dropping massive bombs to salvage a victory. The young charge from St. Petersburg, Florida may not be technically sound, but he does pack some serious pop in both hands and can change a fight with one punch.

Lacy, like every puncher before him, counts on his raw power to bail him out of tough situations. So far, it has been his redeeming quality, but against the “Grim Reaper,” he is going to have to show his boxing abilities. With a record of 38-4-1, with 27 KOs, Reid can punch a little himself and has some solid boxing skills. He is slick, quick fisted, and has shown a very sturdy chin in the past. Three of his four losses have been disputed decisions that could have gone the “Grim Reaper’s” way, and he has never been stopped inside the distance. If Robin can take Lacy’s power for twelve rounds, and use his boxing skills to take some of the young champion’s legs away early, it will get very interesting, and should be a great fight.

So fight fans, tune to Showtime on August 6, 2005, and witness what is a rarity these days, which is a champion defending his title. Love him or hate him, Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy has enough flaws and power to make you want to keep watching him. Saturday night should be no different.

Contact Sergio Martinez at srg_mrtnz@yahoo.com

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