Something about Jeff Lacy
By Chris Robinson (October 1, 2004) 
Photo © Tom Casiino, ShowTime
When you see a young fighter starting out his pro career, you usually have a handful of questions surrounding him. How will they take a punch? Will they be able to adapt to different styles? Can they stick to their game plan late in a fight? What will they do when their supposed power can’t bail them out of a fight? These questions and several more can come to mind, and fight by fight they often get answered. Along the way you tend to get a hunch about the fighter. Whether or not they have the goods. Whether or not they are just good or perhaps a special kind of breed that comes along only once in a blue moon. You can’t always explain why you feel this way, that’s why they call it a hunch.

In Jeff ‘Left Hook’ Lacy we have a man who has done what has been expected of him in the ring. He has rung up a 16-0 record, winning 13 of those bouts by knockout. And of those 13 knockouts, some have been electrifying. He also has an excellent trainer in Dan Birmingham and reportedly has the work ethic of a Spartan, often training alongside current Jr. Middleweight king Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright. Despite all of this I have a feeling about Jeff Lacy, a feeling that his undefeated record will soon be blemished. I am somewhat of a Lacy fan and would love to be proven wrong, but that’s just the feeling I get. His next fight is this Saturday vs. Syd ‘The Jewel’ Vanderpool and I will be watching with great anticipation. Vanderpool has taken on some solid fighters and his only recent loss is a points verdict to Bernard Hopkins back in May of 2000. He’s a tricky southpaw with a little bit of pop and that may be enough to give Lacy his first ‘L’.

As for Jeff Lacy, there is a lot I see in him that I like. He has strength abound and an exciting style, if matched with the right guy. He has registered some eye-friendly KO’s, with his left hook destruction of Scorpion Bawah immediately coming to mind in his sixth fight as a pro. He is also a very likeable guy and someone who is easy to root for. It's not hard at all to be a fan of someone like Lacy, but when objectivity comes into play you can’t overlook the things that make you wonder about a certain fighter.

In his fight with Bobby Jones we saw Lacy go 10 rounds for the first time, and in this match Lacy’s power didn’t seem nearly as lethal as in his first eight fights. Jones is a rugged customer who has never been stopped, so I reserved judgment until I saw more of Lacy. He scored a couple more knockouts and next had a fight with Ross Thompson lined up. Most boxing fans will remember Thompson best as the man who hurled all kinds of insults at Fernando Vargas, only to be outclassed and taken out in the 4th round of their bout. I expected to see Lacy rise to the occasion and score a KO, but was a bit disappointed as he boxed his way to a lackluster decision win.

Lacy has remained unbeaten since then and will likely be a live test for anyone, but I can’t sway my mind from believing his perfect record will soon be no more. To me the Lacy-Vanderpool fight is a pick'em in my head, but if forced to choose I would have to go with ‘The Jewel’ on this one. Perhaps it’s the experience that Syd brings. Maybe it’s the fact that Vanderpool’s career seems to be on the ‘up’ once again since signing with a new promotional team and soundly defeating Tito Mendoza in April. Or better yet, I tend to think its just something about Lacy that I see when he’s in the ring. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but come Saturday I see Lacy tasting his first loss as a pro. Only time will tell
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