|On Saturday, August 6, 2005, live from Tampa Bay, Florida, and televised on Showtime, Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy will put his IBF 168-pound trinket on the line against perennial contender, and former WBC champion, Robin “Grim Reaper” Reid. This will be|
the third defense of Lacy’s title, and should be the toughest test of his young career. I said should be. It is age versus youth, and strength against guile in this one, so let just get right to the point. Here is why I think Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy will stop Reid from becoming a two-time world champion. The “Grim Reaper” has savvy and “championship” experience on his side, as he has fought for various belts in the past, and made four defenses of the WBC super middleweight title. The problem is that he won that belt in 1996. Reid is a mobile boxer-puncher that has some solid skills and appears to have a sturdy set of whiskers, having never felt the canvas in his professional career. The thing to remember is that he has fought forty-three professional fights, and his wheels are now thirty-four-years-old. Add the fact that, as of late, the “Grim Reaper” has been extremely inactive, as this will only be his third fight in the past twenty months, making ring rust and conditioning definite concerns.
Check in for SaddoBoxing’s Big Debate feature as Sergio Martinez takes on Curtis McCormick on the subject of the IBF super middleweight title fight between champion Jeff Lacy and challenger Robin Reid.
It is going to be hard for Reid to keep the hard charging, Mastodon known as Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy off him over the course of a twelve round battle. Lacy may not be technically beautiful to watch, but he has world-class power in both fists, and is relentless in stalking his challengers. In his fight against crafty tough veteran Syd “The Jewel” Vanderpool, Jeff showed that he can adjust mid-fight, to tricky mobile boxers, and can turn it up an extra level when needed. I see this fight being highly competitive early on with the “Grim Reaper” winning his share of rounds. As the fight goes into the second half, “Left Hook” will start to shorten the distance between himself and Reid. After the eighth round, Lacy will kick into a level that the aging Reid will not be able to match. It will be up to the “Grim Reaper’s” corner, or to the ringside doctor, to make a decision and stop the carnage. It is not out of the question that this fight will go the twelve rounds as scheduled, but it will be to the detriment of the thirty-four-year-old Reid. Let us just hope that the “Grim Reaper” is not making a house call at his own residence.
What is your take on this fight Curtis?
Interesting points Sergio and a well thought out position, but I do have to disagree on the outcome of the bout. Lacy is certainly younger and possessing of less experience, as you have pointed out, than Reid. I think the experience factor is going to play a big part in this bout. To date, Jeff has been able to overcome his lack of that precious commodity largely by being the stronger, tougher man. The same goes for his being at a skill disadvantage against some of his more recent foes. They just have not been able to keep Lacy from doing his thing. But I see that trend stopping with this fight against Reid.
Five months ago, Rubin Williams was able to capitalize on Lacy's tendencies to walk in without a jab and throw wide punches. But Williams didn't have the pop to put a dent in the IBF titlist nor the stamina to avoid standing in front of Lacy. I see Reid as having the skill to punch inside Lacy's wide arcs, the power to take the younger man's confidence away, the footwork to stay out of trouble and the stamina to do it for twelve rounds.
This is all assuming Reid doesn't just decide to try and slug it out with the hometown fighter. If that does happen, the Englishman will be fighting Lacy's fight, generally not a smart move, but it may provide some answers in regard to the Floridian's chin. We know Reid has an iron jaw but does Lacy? Another question that might come up: can Lacy make adjustments if his fight plan isn't working? Until now, he really hasn't needed to and that might be a detriment in this bout.
My last point is that while I have no doubt Lacy is a deserving world champion, the IBF title he wears really belongs to Reid. I say this because in December 2003, Reid thoroughly beat IBF and WBA belt-holder Sven Ottke only to lose the decision amid truly bizarre and biased conduct from the referee and highly questionable scoring from the three judges. Ottke fought once more and then retired. Soon afterward, Lacy stopped Syd Vanderpool to take the vacant IBF strap.
It will be very interesting to see if Reid is still truly world class and can handle the younger, willful champion or if Lacy is just now coming into his peak and will toss aside the efforts of Reid as he has with all nineteen of his opponents so far.
As you made very clear in your presentation Sergio, you see Lacy as coming out on top and I'm obviously backing Reid for the upset. This, in a nutshell, is what I really love about boxing; everyone has a vision of how a fight is going to unfold but no one can truly predict just what will happen during a contest.
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