NEW YORK (June 23, 2005) – With a world title unification showdown against World Boxing Organization (WBO) 168-pound titleholder Joe Calzaghe all but set for later this year, International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy will first have to defend his crown against former world champion and current International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight kingpin, Robin Reid, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2005, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Lacy, who has battled opponents in nine different states, as well as in England and Wales, will fight in front of his hometown fans for the first time as a pro when he makes his third and toughest title defense to date against Reid at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, will promote the bout.
“Ever since I became professional, I have wanted to fight the best and really prove myself,” said Lacy in an interview with the BBC in early June. “It is my goal to beat Calzaghe and become undisputed champion. But first I have to get past Reid.”
“When I fight Reid, you are going to be on the edge of your seat,” Lacy told IcWales, the national website of Wales. “I know he comes to fight and he is going to bring it to me. “But, I love that. I am not scared.”
Lacy (19-0, 15 KOs), of St. Petersburg, Fla., will make his 13th SHOWTIME appearance and third defense of the IBF 168-pound belt he won with an impressive eighth-round TKO over Syd Vanderpool Oct. 2, 2004, on SHOWTIME. The first 2000 Olympian to win a world title, Lacy retained his title the first time with a 12-round unanimous decision over Omar Sheika Dec. 2, 2004, on SHOWTIME from Las Vegas.
“I just want to fight often and win,” said Lacy, who outpointed Sheika 117-111 and 115-113 twice. “Reid is coming to take something away from me, and it is my job to keep him from doing it.’’
Lacy was leading a fast-paced, terrific action fight on March 5, 2005 against Rubin Williams when it was stopped 47 seconds into the seventh round.
“I got stronger and stronger as the rounds went by,” Lacy said after his ninth TKO in 19 bouts. “Williams was determined. He was a bad boy. I have to admit he has a great chin, but I can dish it out and I can take it.”
One of nine children, Lacy and three of his siblings were raised in St. Petersburg by their father, Hydra. A former boxer, Hydra competed in the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials and went 13-4-1 in the pros. Two of Lacy’s older brothers spent time in jail.
“Watching my brothers and my father made me want to stay away from trouble,” Lacy said.
Lacy steered clear of the law, but could not avoid fighting, especially at school. So his father sent the then-eight-year-old to a gym.
“They put headgear and the gloves on me,” the younger Lacy recalled. “I thought, ‘This is punishment? This will be fun.’ They put me in with a kid smaller than me. I thought, ‘You cannot beat me. I am bigger than you.’ I started throwing punches and he was moving around. I kept waiting for him to stop, but he did not. When I got tired, he came at me. He beat my butt.’’
Lacy went 209-12 in the amateurs, won numerous competitions, and made it to the second round of the 2000 Olympics.
Reid (38-4-1, 27 KOs), of Runcorn, England, captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight title by knocking out defending champion Vincenzo Nardiello in the seventh round on Oct. 12, 1996. He successfully defended the championship three times during his one-year reign before losing it to Thulane Malinga via a 12-round decision on Dec. 19, 1997.
Following a non-title victory in 1998, Reid, whose four losses have been by decision, took WBO super middleweight champion Calzaghe to the edge of defeat before dropping a controversial 12-round split decision on Feb. 13, 1999. Two of the judges scored it 116-111 for the champion, while the third had it 116-111 for the challenger.
After capturing the World Boxing Federation (WBF) 168-pound crown and making four successful defenses, Reid again forced a world champion to go the distance before losing a 12-round decision. On Dec. 13, 2003, then-WBA/IBF champion Sven Ottke retained his titles by the scores 115-113 twice and 117-112.
Reid has won 12 out of his last 13 bouts, including a 12-round decision over Brian Magee on June 26, 2004, in Belfast, Ireland, to claim the IBO super middleweight title. Reid sent his opponent to the canvas four times and triumphed by the scores 115-111, 114-111 and 113-112.
In his last outing, Reid pitched a six-round shutout over Ramdan Serdjane on Feb. 13, 2005. The referee scored the fight 60-54.
At the age of 21, Reid slugged his way to a bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.