What’s Left for “Left Hook” Lacy?
By Joseph “The Mad Boxing Genius” Torres (Dec 9, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
This Saturday, boxing fans will once again be treated to an action packed night of fights. Not only are the scheduled fights guaranteed to bring the fireworks, but, they are going to bring much needed clarity in several of the divisions.

On Showtime, it’s the semi-finals of the bantamweight tournament when Yonnhy Perez goes up against Joseph Agbeko and Vic Darchinyan takes on Abner Mares. Also on that very same night, the jr welterweights take the spotlight on HBO as British superstar Amir Khan goes one on one with the hard punching Marcos Maidana in a unification match-up. The co-feature is will be Vicious Victor Ortiz, another hot prospect at a buck forty as he takes on one half of the very talented Peterson Brothers’, Lamont.

Even ESPN is getting into the mix as Wladimir Klitschko defends his throne against Dereck Chisora.

All the hype that these fights are getting, it’s hard to even fathom that there are so many other matches going on that same night all over the world. The other battles going down that night may not be as “Big and Flashy” but it is as equally important to the fighters and their fans.

One of those “forgotten by the public” fights involves a man who once captured the imagination of the boxing world. Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy returns for the first time since 2009 (16 month layoff) when he lost by 10th round stoppage to the future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. in what is surely to be a do or die situation.

On December 11th, Jeff takes on Dhafir Smith for the vacant UBO (Universal Boxing Organization) super middleweight championship.

Jeff Lacy has a stellar amateur pedigree which was highlighted by making it on the U.S. Olympic team in 2000 where he had the likes of Jermain Taylor competing along side with him. He quickly blazed a trail for himself in the professional ranks that culminated by winning the vacant IBF super middleweight title with an 8th round TKO over Syd Vanderpool in 2004. With only 18 professional fights under his belt, he started defending that title and running roughshod over everyone who got in his way like Omar Sheika (W UD12), Robin Reid (W TKO7) and Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton (W TKO2). The list of victims just kept growing and going until he ran into Joe Calzaghe to unify the IBF and WBO titles.

Since his defeat to Joe Calzaghe, the man who is widely regarded as the greatest super middleweight champion of all-time, he clearly wasn’t the same. Some say he was exposed and wasn’t that good to begin with. Others will tell you Joe Calzaghe laid a beating on him that he just simply couldn’t recover from.

Either way, as “Left Hook” returns and continues his career, the questions that surround couldn’t be more obvious. What does Jeff have left? Does he still possess the power in his left hook that has seemed to have abandoned him as of late? Can Jeff pick himself up from his boot straps and do what so few before him have done and return to the top of the food chain?

On the other side, his opponent Dhafir Smith, isn’t anyone you may have heard of. He is not very highly regarded but has the experience to do what most people think he can’t do which is beat Jeff Lacy and win the UBO title.

Although Dhafir Smith doesn’t seem to have a great record with 19 losses on his resume, he’s been in there with some real stiff competition. At only 28 years of age he’s piled up almost 50 fights in his career and with the momentum against Jeff Lacy, coupled by his current inactivity and a chance for Smith to win a world title has all the makings of an upset.

This fight may not be as big as the other match-ups this weekend, but it has just as much significance – only on a smaller stage.

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