The Return of a Legend: Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy Interview by Jason Petock (Nov 25, 2010) Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
There are rare moments in time when people are awarded brief opportunities to fulfil their destinies. They take these gifts from life, then mix them with their inherent qualities and ability while making the most of them. Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, 25-3 (17), of Saint Petersburg, Florida, is a fighter of supreme character and ability who has mastered his own destiny and returns to the squared circle on December 11th of this year at Jannus Landing, Saint Petersburg, Florida to face off against Dhafir “No Fear” Smith, 23-19-7 (4), a formidable opponent from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Lacy looks to show once more to his home state of Florida, and moreover the world that he is back in contention and is not going anywhere, as he looks to capture the vacant UBO Super Middleweight Title. Jeff Lacy is coming off a serious shoulder injury which required surgery, and is geared up and ready for war. He is rejuvenated and possesses the drive, ring experience and willpower to step in the ring once again and give it his all. The following is a recent interview I was fortunate enough to have conducted with “Left Hook,” who was in top form as he pulled no punches. A huge thanks goes out to Mr. Macke Roberts, Director of Public Relations for Grind 2 Def Entertainment of Las Vegas for handling the logistics of things and making this happen, but an even bigger thanks and my sincere gratitude goes to Mr. Jeff Lacy for being gracious enough to grant me this exclusive, no holds barred interview and take time out of his busy training camp to talk with me. It was an honor speaking with him.
Jason Petock: First off, I want to thank you for granting me this interview, I appreciate you taking the time out to speak with me.
Jeff Lacy: Not a problem. It was a longer training day today, so I didn't get a chance to catch up with you earlier.
JP: How is the tendon in your shoulder holding up and how do you feel after having your surgery?
JL: Actually, I went to the number one rotator cuff surgeon, Dr. Andrews, out of Alabama. He said and assured me after it was all said and done, that if I break anything else or tear anything else that I won't have to worry about my rotator cuff and that he stands behind what was done and that it is going to be 120%. And I have trust in him.
JP: I didn't know this, but I read that your tendon was 97% off of the bone and the tendon tore.
JL: I tore 97% of my tendon off the subscapular, meaning 97% off of the bone.
JP: I guess it would be an understatement to say that, that was painful?
JL: (Laughs) Well, you know in the heat of battle you do what you have to do, right?
JP: How hard was it to come back after such a critical injury like the one you sustained and what has kept you so hungry still?
JL: Basically, from what I've been through I really grew to love it. What it does for you, I just fell in love with. My work ethic and my drive in this sport comes from my true love for boxing. That's why I continue.
JP: On December 11th, you face off against Dhafir “No Fear” Smith in your home state of Florida. What kind of statement do you want to make and should Smith have fear of the Jeff Lacy he's going to see this December?
JL: I mean, I definitely want to keep that fear in him. If you've got the fear in someone, then that's all you have to do to him. The rest is the hard work I put in the gym and my dedication. Dhafir is coming in to take advantage of this opportunity. I credit him for that, he's ducking his head under the ropes and thinking that he knows something that I don't know. So, I have to take him very seriously.
JP: You are renowned for your trademark left hook, hence your nickname. Being the toughest punch in boxing to master, did it come naturally to you or did you have to develop it like everyone else?
JL: Well, seriously, being that I started boxing at a young age I always loved to throw. In the beginning stages I just really developed the left hook. I generate so much power coming across the body, opposed to someone coming down the middle with a straight right hand. It's been working for me and it's just something that I have truly grown to love and just fire.
JP: Yeah, that's your clean up shot. Definitely.
JL: That's my bailout. (Laughs)
JP: Who was the toughest opponent you have ever faced in the ring during your career?
JL: I mean, there's different styles. So any style can be difficult depending on what you're up against. As far as an opponent, really everyone has given me a different style. I wouldn't say that one is more difficult than the other though. I think that it's an accumulation of certain things as a fighter, that when you go into the ring, we have to figure someone out. We have to figure our opponents out. There have been difficult styles that I have dealt with before, and it isn't always because you lost the fight, you know, it's more that some styles are harder to adapt to. And as the fight goes on, and with me having strong punches, ones that are powerful, often it just took a shot to get him out of there. If we didn't have that in the equation, then I would have gone 12 rounds and I could say sure this guy or that guy was difficult. But I can't sit here and say that one fighter has been my toughest opponent.
JP: That's a plus too, because your power, a lot of guys don't have that.
JL: Exactly. Exactly. Thank you.
JP: Where do you see yourself in the Super Middleweight division right now, and who would you like to fight in the future if given the opportunity?
JL: That's just something that I have never done ever since I've been a fighter. I've never looked past the guy that was in front of me. So right now, Dhafir Smith, he's the guy that I am focused on. I'm not willing to disrupt or mess up my whole thought process, or the equation by trying to look ahead and speculate.
JP: Is there anything you'd like to tell your fans, the media or any of the critics out there?
JL: Basically, critics are always going to be critics, no matter what you do, be it good or bad. It's just that if you're looking bad they're just going to turn it up, and if you're looking good they're going to say something that others may not know about you. What I am wanting to say to the critics out there, now don't get me wrong, but I'm doing it for me now. I'm doing it for me, because I've been at the top of the mountain looking down, and when I fell I saw what happens. I bled and my heart bled thinking about fans first. After being to the top and drastically falling down, and having been where I've been, I can say that I made the biggest mistake of my career. I did this by always trying to lead and run and do things in a hurry. If my fans are 120% behind me, then no matter how long it takes me they'll still be there. I'm not going to be led anymore. I'm going to be led by my heart, and what I feel and my desire. That's so I don't get hurt like I did before.
JP: That's good and I'm glad that you are back, we're glad you are back, and I'm sure that I'm not alone in saying that.
JL: Thank you.
JP: Once more I'd like to thank you for taking the time out of your training schedule to talk with me. Do you have any closing remarks or any message for Dhafir Smith before you clash with him in the ring on December 11th?
JL: I've never been one for that, I do all my talking in the ring. I'm not going to sit here and try to bad mouth him. I mean he's a formidable opponent if he's willing to get into the ring. I just basically want to say that I have never felt better. I haven't felt this good in a very, very, very long time. It's going to be dangerous, yes, it's going to be dangerous come December 11th.
JP: It was really good talking with you, I appreciate it. Thanks again.