Thursday, February 23, 2006

Prediction: Lacy – Calzaghe

By JE Grant

Boxing’s most exciting big-hitter in years, Jeff Lacy, has proven already in his young career that fighting the best fighters in the world is his central ambition. How many young fighters truly seek out the top competition particularly after garnering an alphabet title? Didn’t take long to complete the list huh? I’m not sure a fighter could have more going for him; he’s young, can whack with authority, and has a winning personality that is truly star quality.

So, the fact that he is facing a skilled and speedy 40-0 Joe Calzaghe should come as no surprise. At least from the Lacy end of it that is. Calzaghe on the other hand has, until this very fight, epitomized the worst of the alphabet-drenched world of so-called championship combat. For a span of 17 defenses of a less-than prized WBO belt, he has proven sturdy and fast. He’s also somehow always had a reason not to fight the best the business has to offer. Talked about bouts with Glen Johnson, Roy Jones; Antonio Tarver; Sven Ottke; Bernard Hopkins; Markus Beyer; Eric Lucas; Bruno Girard; and Clinton Woods never materialized. Unfortunately, opponents such as Evans Ashira, a fighter who had but once fought at super-middleweight and had never beaten a top fighter served as the backbone of his title reign.

Nonetheless, this bout is at once Jeff Lacy’s chance to quickly become world famous almost overnight, and Joe Calzaghe’s opportunity to erase years of mounting criticism with one win.

Lacy clearly is the lesser experienced of the two. With half as many professional fights and far fewer rounds completed, “Left Hook” probably has certainly not met an opponent as quick-fisted as Calzaghe. From his southpaw stance, Calzaghe throws relatively wide shots --- his speed thus far has allowed him to survive this obvious weakness.

Despite his 40 fights, Calzaghe has just as certainly never seen the power that Lacy brings. In recent contests, Calzaghe has hit the deck from shots by Kabary Salem and Byron Mitchell neither of whom has the kick of Lacy.

If Calzaghe has one glaring shortcoming that may work against him it is his propensity for shrugging off his considerable skills in order to wage pitched battles. After being belted to the canvas by Mitchell, Calzaghe was somehow able to engage in a do-or-die slugfest that led to a stoppage of the faded Mitchell.

If hurt by Lacy will he resort to such tactics? A one-for-one punch swap figures to favor the heavy handed Lacy.

However, a boxing-minded Calzaghe could push Lacy into zones he has never seen. The awkward angles of the southpaw Calzaghe could keep Lacy out of position. Even at his best, Lacy swings mightily, missing often, and leaving himself vulnerable to counters.

Prediction: Calzaghe will enter the ring with a plan to outbox and outfox the supposedly green Lacy. His early successes of pulling Lacy out of position will embolden the veteran. He will come to believe that he can dominate the youngster. Unfortunately, he will at some point meet the sharp hitting power of Lacy and his knees will falter. Calzaghe will again discover his warrior’s heart and press the attack in rebuttal. Unlike in his off-the-canvas comeback against Mitchell, it will be Calzaghe that gets closed out. The power of Lacy will spell disaster for a daring and proud battler.

Lacy by KO in 5.


Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Good read JE.I'm leaning towards Lacy as well,and perhaps by a mid-round ko/tko.

10:26 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I have a similar outcome, just a little later in the fight. i will think that after Calzaghe pulss a Wlad and hits the deck the first time; he will pull another Wlad and hold onto Lacy for a bit, buying him a round or two. *th round stoppage coming from my mind.

11:40 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I suspect this one will have some fireworks.

10:35 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I meant 8th rd stoppage

1:59 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I figured that since the * is on the same key as the 8.

It's important to be precise :)

2:17 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Let's see.5 more days??? That means in 4 more days,I'm going to allow myself to become excited.Still taking a chance,I know.What can I say,I'm a 'risk-taker' folks...:-)

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was on google an spotted this! Im afraid you were all very wrong an our very own prince of wales dominated Lacy compltely! An now he's just lost to a washed up Roy Jones and made him look amazing in the process! Oh well eh?

2:39 PM  
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