ST. PETERSBURG, FL (November 8, 2005) – Undefeated IBF/IBO super middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, 21-0 (17 KOs), successfully defended his title for the fourth time this year (his fifth world title fight since October 2004) on Saturday, proving that he is not only the most active world champion in boxing, but one of the sport's most exciting.
Lacy knocked out Scott Pemberton, 29-4-1 (24 KOs), the IBF's No. 5-rated contender (and the WBC's No. 1 rated super middleweight before he challenged Lacy) in the second round in front of a sold-out house at Caesars Tahoe and millions of viewers on Showtime Championship Boxing. The knockout victory, Lacy's third straight (four of his five world title fights have been won by KO), ended Pemberton's three-year winning streak.
“I want the fights that bring out the fans and raise the ratings,” said Lacy. “I want Joe Calzaghe and I want Antonio Tarver and I don't care in which order I fight them. Moving up in weight is not a problem. The seven extra pounds it takes to become a light heavyweight is very close to my natural weight. I am ready to prove who the best man is and I don't want hear any excuses from either one of them.”
“Jeff, like Winky Wright when he moved from junior middleweight to middleweight to blitz Felix Trinidad, can fight at 168 or 175 pounds with no problems,” said 2004 BWAA Trainer of the Year Dan Birmingham, who trains both fighters. “I wouldn't hesitate to have Jeff challenge Tarver. However, if I were training Tarver, I'm not so sure I would be as confident in taking that fight. Jeff will have Tarver bouncing off the ropes like a pinball bouncing off the bumpers. “
“I know Jeff would destroy Tarver carrying those seven extra pounds,” said promoter Gary Shaw. “In Craps, seven is a natural. You roll it, you win. But in my opinion, it would spell Craps for Tarver. In fact, the last time I saw Tarver, he was at the end of a dice table, crapping out.”