In Boxing News: Joe Calzaghe Sleeps Tight Tonight

Saturday’s super middleweight unification bout between Jeff Lacy and Joe Calzaghe continues to generate press.

The St. Petersburg Times spotlights its favorite son in a piece called A moribund sport puts faith in Lacy. The article takes a look at the marketing of Lacy, and the difficulties facing a squeaky clean fighter in a Squeaky Fromme sport. An admittedly partisan Gary Shaw, Lacy’s promoter, says, “Jeff is All-American. He has a winning smile and a great sense of humor. Certain people, when they smile, you smile; when they laugh, you laugh. It’s a contagious personality. I think after this fight Saturday, he will capture America. He’s already captured those who have met him. An emotion seconded by Ron Borges of The Boston Globe On the other side of the pond, Calzaghe fever is all the rage. The BBC reports that Calzaghe is out to make Lacy pay for that remark about Joe slapping instead of hitting. “Lacy might be known as ‘Left Hook,’ but I’ve got one of those, plus a right hook, an uppercut, a jab. I’ve got everything, the WBO titleholder said. “He’s a good champion, undefeated, but not for much longer.” John Rawling reports in The Guardian that the 16,000 of the 20,000 seats in the MEN Arena in Manchester have already been sold for Saturday’s fight. The only other fighters to ever fill Britain’s largest indoor arena were Mike Tyson and Ricky Hatton. And from the sleep perchance to dream department comes word via the Telegraph that Calzaghe plans his wake-up call. The champ is adjusting his sleep and training regimen for a 2 AM fight in Manchester, scheduled at that ungodly hour to satisfy the needs of American TV. “It has been quite surreal, really, Joe said, going out very late at night on runs, with my dad driving the car behind me. We’ve seen a few badgers, but we haven’t come across any muggers Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Mayorga are on the first leg of their four cities in three days press tour to generate buzz for the May 6 superfight. Sparks flew the other day in LA at the inaugural press conference where the mogul and the animal shoved each other and traded barbs. “I’m the champion, Mayorga declared through a translator. You’ve got to recognize that. My strongest hand is my right hand. You see his eye? I’m going to detach his retina.” What a thing to say. Roberto Duran would be proud. Give the slugger from Nicaragua an A+ for some serious trash talk According to the Manila Standard Today, Manny Pacquiao ‘s Manila fight is in jeopardy. His May 20 bout against former WBC super bantamweight champion Oscar Larios was supposed to be the homecoming to beat all homecomings for Pac-Man and his loyal fans, but with political unrest in the Philippines in full flower, there was a thwarted coup just last week, it looks like the bout might be headed, according to HBO’s Larry Merchant, to San Francisco The Associated Press reports that former heavyweight contender Clifford Etienne has lost a bid to delay his March 20 trial. The Black Rhino is charged with robbing a Baton Rouge business and having a shootout with local police during their successful chase and apprehension of the suspect. Etienne was on parole (and heaven knows what else at the time of the incident) and faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, one count each of attempted second-degree murder, illegal use of a weapon, attempted carjacking and felon in possession of a firearm. His lawyer asked the court for more time to have a neurologist determine whether years of boxing left Etienne with brain damage. That’s known as the Riddick Bowe defense in the trade and it has proven unsuccessful in the past. Such is Team Etienne’s legal desperation. Oh, and by the way, Etienne’s gun jammed both times he pulled the trigger.

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