It wasn’t supposed to be that easy, not against a former world champion with a Mount Rushmore chin, a bad taste in his mouth and a chip on his shoulder the size of a Ford Escort.
But it was easy, Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy laying claim to being the most exciting super-middleweight in the world, if not the best. His TKO win over Robin Reid this past Saturday night in Tampa was quick and brutal, the Runcorn, England fighter being knocked down four times in seven rounds before it was stopped.
After the mugging, promoter Gary Shaw, waiting for Lacy to show up at the post-fight press conference, sat down and filled everyone in on what had been going on in the background.
“Every weight class has its gatekeeper and right now, (WBO champion) Joe Calzaghe is considered by most people to be the best super-middleweight in the world,” Shaw said. “We already have Showtime (on board). We’re going to Wales.”
Right now, Lacy is tentatively scheduled to face Calzaghe on Nov. 5, somewhere over there. It was a deal made before the Reid fight, though Shaw said nothing had been signed.
“I have the basis of a deal made,” he said.
Fine. But don’t book a flight to Wales just yet. Calzaghe has a reputation for pulling out of fights as easily as most of us pull out of our driveways. And who could blame him for pulling out of this one? Apparently, the best way to face Lacy is with a can of pepper spray and a 36-inch Louisville Slugger. Lacy looked so good Saturday night, Calzaghe might want to take a close look at the many advantages of moving up to light-heavyweight.
On top of that, Calzaghe is scheduled to defend his title Sept. 10 against, well, somebody we hope is a contender. He has to beat TBA if he wants a shot at Lacy's IBF title.
Still, we did hear from Calzaghe, who admitted it was probably Lacy’s best performance to date.
“He impressed me,” Calzaghe was quoted as saying earlier this week. “But it’s hard to say how good Lacy is because Reid was so poor. I prefer fighters who come forward throwing big punches, and Lacy’s style is made for me … I’m even more confident of beating Lacy now.”
Sure he is.
With that kind of reasoning, Lacy is lucky. If he’d stopped Reid in the first round, he wouldn’t have a prayer against Calzaghe.
While everything is pointing toward a showdown between Lacy and Calzaghe this fall, Shaw couldn’t help but pass on a little disturbing news at the press conference.
He said he didn’t tell this to Lacy, but the fight with Reid was in jeopardy as late as 48 hours before the scheduled time of the fight.
“Thursday night, around 11 or 12, I was chatting in a restaurant with some friends when some of (Reid’s) people came up to me and told me Reid was pulling out of the fight,” Shaw said. “They shook me down for more money and I paid it. There are some things in our sport that don‘t belong there. I did what I had to do. Sometimes that just comes with the territory.”
Shaw shook his head.
“But to Robin’s credit,” he said. “He came here (Lacy’s backyard) to fight.”
But who knew it'd be so easy?