What caused Jeff Lacy to be a broken fighter?

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Fighters can be beaten in many ways, from an early knock out that sees them rendered unconscious from a single blow, a relentless beat down that sees them stopped late as much beaten as beaten up, those that as beaten over 12 rounds but are fine just outclassed, those that have lost by a narrow margin due to fading down the stretch and those who are just caught out. Though the worst are the ones that ruin your confidence, a 12 round beating like the one Jeff Lacy suffered at the hands of Joe Calzaghe can ruin a fighter, like it seems to have done to “Left Hook”.

Going into the bought Lacy was proclaimed America’s saviour of the Super-Middleweight division, a hard punching muscular man that made some thing back the Tyson’s explosion on to the scene in the 1980’s. Ripped more than most boxers and with a trade mark left hook he was leaving much of the division in it’s wake until he ran into the Welshman in attempt to unify his own IBF title with Calzaghe’s WBO belt. Lacy had stopped the last 3 men wanting his title in Scott Pemberton, Rubin Williams and Robin Reid and had been seen as a wrecking ball, some had gone as far as to say no one could take his punch. Calzaghe despite having the more experience was seen by many to actually be the outsider facing the unbeaten 29 year old, in fact many American journalists felt Calzaghe had been given a string of meaningless mandatory defence as he remained in the UK. Although Calzaghe was just gone 34 and had had 40 fights the Americans didn’t really know much about him, other than he’d stopped their own Byron Mitchell in a tear up and out pointed Charles Brewer. They had expected Lacy to almost decapitate the Welshman early doors.

What occurred on that fateful night back on 4th March 2006 made Calzaghe a world star, and destroyed the American fighter in several different ways. Firstly he exposed the hulk-look-a-like as slow and with a rather limited boxing brain, they were going toe-to-toe except Lacy wasn’t landing anything. Whilst Calzaghe landed at will (landing 1006 punches all together) he made Lacy eat his words of calling Calzaghe “Calslappy”. The worst thing though was that Lacy seemed to be a confidence man, whilst on top and winning he became better and better, though once he took the hiding Calzaghe gave him, he never recovered.

It would appear that Calzaghe maybe did more than show up Lacy’s true lack of power (he’s not stopped anyone since Scott Pemberton in the defence of his title previous to facing Calzaghe) but completely broke him. Lacy who was a an Olympic fighter, had some amateur pedigree though seemed to have fallen in love with his power, the nick name of “Left Hook” gave the game away, he was about blowing fighters out with that one punch. He’d lost his clever boxing ability and after Calzaghe embarrassed him, he seemed to have nothing.

Though since the loss he has gone 4-2 the wins were all controversial and looked like he was being given the decision with out deserving it. He beat Vitali Typsko by a very marginal and controversial majority decision, he was out class but got a unanimous decision against Peter Manfredo and had managed a lacklustre win over Epifanio Mendoza on a majority decision (in Mondoza’s following fight he would be unanimously beaten by 6 fight novice Beibut Shumenov). A loss to Jermaine Taylor should have been it, Lacy should have retired there and been unable to kid himself about the future, sadly he continued. No longer a fighter of any real relevance, his power diminished, his fearsome quality vanished, he was no longer a threat to anyone who came to fight.

A majority decision win over Otis Griffin said it all, Griffin had been knocked out in 3 of his last 4 (as well as the fight he had after Lacy). Griffin was the sort of opponent that the Lacy of old would have steamrollered over in the opening rounds, not this gun shy, powerless fighter that went by the name Jeff Lacy. It was a poor imitation of a once dominating fighter.

In a battle of hookers with Roy Jones as each man tried to continue their career a bit longer Lacy was outclassed by a 40 year old man. Though both men were shells of their former self, it was obvious to see that the beat down from Calzaghe and injuries since had left Lacy nothing other than a mess in a boxing ring, unable to tee off and even when he did he seemed unable to hurt fighters.

For the downfall of Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, look no further than the 1 sided beat down Joe Calzaghe gave his body, his ego and his confidence. A beating so severe that it took too much out of him to ever return to any semblance of his old self.

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