Can Reid bury Lacy in his own backyard?
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (August 3, 2005)  
Photo ©
This Saturday night on Showtime at 9:00 Pm ET/PT two-time world champion Robin Reid, 38-4-1 (27), will be making the jump across the pond to face the hard hitting hometown hero Jeff Lacy, 19-0 (15), to challenge for the IBF super middleweight strap. From England to Florida all the way to Lacy’s backyard of Tampa, Reid is willing to give the youngster a run for his money, but can he cash in on Lacy’s inexperience?

After earning a Bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics, the Englishman made his pro debut in 1993 stopping his opponent in the first round. Reid banged out twenty-five straight victories and earned the WBC super middleweight title before dropping his first loss at the hands of South African Thulane Malinga in 1997. Fourteen months later Reid would drop back to back loses from the hands of Joe Calzaghe and Silvio Branco before going on a victory crusade and adding the WBF belt to his resume along with eight more KO victories. The last loss in his career was more due to bad officiating and could pretty much be summed up as a robbery when he visited the hometown of undefeated German Sven Ottke to do battle for the IBF super middleweight title. More recently Reid defeated Brian Magee in front of an Irish crowd and even strapped on the IBO title, so the hostile reception he is likely to receive in Tampa, Florida should not adversely affect him.

Fifteen years of fighting as a pro, 246 rounds of boxing, fifteen title bouts, traveling to the backyard in almost a handful of fights and not once has the iron jawed Brit ever tasted the canvas. He’s tough, he experienced and very durable, but can that durability outlast the power that Lacy is going to offer up?

After competing in over 221 amateur bouts and earning a spot on the 2000 Olympic team the hard hitting Jeff Lacy made his run to the professionals, and since that point has laid out fifteen of his twenty opponents. In 2002 the 11-0 Lacy defeated Ross Thompson (25-6-1) for Thompson’s WBC Continental Americas super middleweight title, and three months later the youngster added the vacant USBA belt by stopping James Crawford in two rounds. But it wasn’t until Lacy defeated the experienced and highly regarded Syd Vanderpool for the vacant IBF title in October last year that he really announced his arrival. In a close and very tough fight, Lacy took control in the middle rounds and stopped the veteran in the eighth to strap on his first major world title, and now after two successful titles defenses he is ready to march on.

Lacy is strong and doesn’t tote the nick name ‘Left Hook’ around just for fun. If you don’t think he is solid, just ask the nineteen foes he has faced and defeated. And Reid is no pushover with his rock solid chin and extensive experience, so this match-up could provide some spark. When Lacy made his pro debut Reid had already banged out a 26-3-1 record and had fought in eight title bouts including being crowned the WBC super middleweight champion, so there is no equality when it comes to experience, but what about skill?

Lacy is still in the learning process and although he is a superb offensive force his defense lacks at times, but his dedication to the sport provides so much more. He continues to learn with each experience and with his ability to stop his opposition with one punch and willingness to offer up a brawl he is always a threat, even to Reid’s granite chin. Reid has been the spoiler before but can he bring it just one more time? All those years of fighting has had to have brought on some battle scars and the years add up on a person, even more on boxer that has been fighting since he was a young lad.

More experience or not Reid is a bit slower, a bit older and he is biting off more than he can chew. My prediction is that the ‘Left Hook’ will be the first to floor the ‘Grim Reaper’ in one hell of a fight and come out victorious and make it an even 20.
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