Maybe the best line coming out of Tuesday’s short-lived conference call came from the guy everyone figures is doomed to go down in flames March 5 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Asked how he got the nickname “Mr.  Hollywood,” underdog Rubin Williams cooed, “Because I make my opponents see the stars.”


The problem is Williams hasn’t exactly left the fight world reeling with his not-so-legendary punching power. Not that many of his opponents have been star struck. He’s more of a dancing man than a heavy thumper, more stick-and-move than stand-and-brawl. He prefers to use his 6-foot frame to his advantage; you know, bob and weave to avoid any serious confrontations if at all possible.

That’s probably best.

Williams will be facing IBF super middleweight champ Jeff “Left Hook“ Lacy on March 5 on  SHOWTIME, and on the conference call, no one had to ask Lacy how he got his  nickname.

“I’m a puncher,” said Lacy, who is several inches shorter than Williams. “Rubin is a skilled boxer.”

There was no argument from Williams.

“(Lacy) is a good puncher,” he said. “I’m a good boxer.”

They said the same thing about Ali and Frazier, but I‘m not putting my expectations too high.

Still, Lacy can always make it interesting. Left hooks like his are fun to watch as long as you’re not standing in front of one.

Already a champion only 18 fights into his pro career, Lacy (18-0, 14 KOs), who fights out of St. Petersburg, FL,  says he’s learning as he goes, fighting more experienced fighters just about  every time he climbs into the ring.

That’s why he’s fighting every three or four months. He figures he has a lot of catching up to do if he wants to someday be the undisputed champ of the world.

“By me holding this title, they’re all coming to take it away,” he said. “They’re looking for any chance they can get with this young kid.”

Young in pro experience. Not in years.  Lacy is 27.

Asked how he was going to fight Williams, Lacy said he was going to “pressure him and make him gamble more than he wants to.”

Asked how he would fight Lacy, Williams said he was going to “box, box, box. And stick to my game plan.”

Williams comes into the fight with only one blemish on his record (26-1, 15 KOs), but it’s a doozey. Fighting someone named Epifanio Mendoza in June 2003, he was stopped at the 47-second mark of the first round – not a good showing for a guy chasing a world title.

“No excuses,” Williams said of the loss. “But it just wasn’t me.”

Let’s hope whoever it was doesn’t show up on March 5.

Tuesday’s call did have its better moments. After Lacy talked about how he would beat Bernard Hopkins, Williams suggested to Lacy that maybe the fight he should be thinking about right now was the one looming right in front of him.

Lacy wasn’t happy with the warning. “I’m definitely on you,” he snapped. “Don’t worry about what I’m going to do. You just come to fight Saturday night.”

“On March 5 we’ll see,” Williams responded. “I’m going to knock his ass out.”

That was the second best line.