Haymaker City. Tattoo Town. Sluggersville.
That’s what this fight could turn into, a wild melee on the serene shores of Lake Tahoe. These guys aren’t afraid of getting blood on their trunks or welts under their eyes. They’d rather swing away than dance away.
IBF super-middleweight champ Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy (20-0, 16 KOs) likes to roll up his sleeves, cock his fists and draw a line in the dirt with his toe. He doesn’t box as much as he explodes, preferring short nights of chaos to long nights of symmetry.
Same with Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton (29-3-1, 24 KOs). Don’t be confused. He didn’t get that nickname by lulling the crowd to sleep. Pemberton seldom comes to dance, but he usually leaves with the homecoming queen. He’s turned out more lights than Babysitters, Inc.
The two are set to fight for Lacy’s title on Nov. 5 (SHOWTIME) at Caesars Tahoe in Stateline, NV.
“I like fighting punchers more because you don’t have to chase them,” Lacy said on a recent conference call. “They have the confidence in standing there and trying to get their shots in. So that is the best type of fight you ever want to have, especially for the boxing public.”
Lacy has always been a crowd pleaser, even when he doesn’t fight.
“They call him Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, but he has a great right hand,” said Pemberton, who has obviously been doing his homework. “He is definitely a powerful man. You cannot go in there and just sit there and be slapped or just sit there and bang with the guy. You will get your block knocked off.”
Rather than get his block knocked off, Pemberton said he plans to box and work the angles. Step around him a little bit. Quietly, if possible.
“You can’t go in there and just throw it out,” he said.
Well, you can, but then everyone goes home early.
Of course, Pemberton wasn’t Lacy’s first choice for this fight. That would be Joe “Check's in the Mail” Calzaghe, the WBO champ who agreed to fight Lacy, but also decided to take an interim warm-up fight just in case. And we all know what happened next.
Asked if he was surprised Calzaghe injured his hand in that fight and had to pull out, Lacy brushed the issue aside like it was old news, a pesky fly buzzing around his head.
“I already had it in the back of my mind that he was basically talking like he was going to pull out of the fight anyway,” Lacy said.
So Pemberton got the call and they put the fight together.
“I feel great and I’m ready to rock and roll,” Pemberton said.
“Everybody has been ducking Scott, and everybody has been ducking me,” Lacy said. “So it’s only best that the two people who have been ducked the most in the weight class should fight.”
La La Land.