Hard hitting slugger Jeff 'Left Hook' Lacy, 18-0 (14) 1NC, is set to defend his IBF super middleweight title on March 5th at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Showtime at 10:30 pm ET/PT. Lacy will take on 'Mr. Hollywood' Rubin Williams, 26-1 (16), who will serve as a strong test for the twenty-seven year old champion. Lacy burst on the boxing scene in 2001 knocking out his first eight opponents within three rounds and six of those were in the opening round. From the start he has proven that he is a heavy-handed brawler who isn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone who crosses his path. After leaving a trail of fallen victims behind him, the young lion stepped in the ring with fight veteran Syd Vanderpool last October at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas Nevada on Showtime. For sevens rounds Lacy used his arsenal to punish the Canadian, and in the eighth round Lacy would explode with a barrage of left uppercuts leaving Vanderpool unable to defend himself. Referee Robert Byrd called a halt to the bout giving Lacy the hard earned IBF super middleweight title.
Photo © Tom Casino
After a successful defense in December over the rugged Omar Sheika, Lacy is looking to continue his successful run, and with Williams’s threats Jeff is taking this bout very seriously. With the 'Left Hook' keeping a Kung Fu grip on his title this should be an entertaining bout to watch. The champ took the time out for the Doghouse fans and gave his thoughts on his bout as well as a myriad of other topics. Enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Hey Jeff, first I just want to say thanks for taking the time out for the Doghouse readers.
Jeff Lacy: Anytime man, anytime.
BH: Rubin Williams has been calling you out, or should I say he has been saying he wants a piece of you, for six months now and that he feels a win over you will prove himself. Can you just give us your thoughts on his comments and on your upcoming bout against Rubin Williams on March 5th?
JL: Oh, I’m just like any other fighter that goes into the ring. We are confident, that’s what we train for. He is in this fight with me for a world title; I want him to be confident because that is when the best comes out of me because I don’t want to fight guys that don’t want to fight.
BH: Do you honestly feel that Williams can pose any major threat to you in this bout, or is he just a step up to gain more experience to secure bigger better things for yourself in the near future?
JL: I feel that he’s a threat, he’s talking and he’s confident and he’s willing to get into the ring, and as you know anything can happen in that square ring. I’m taking him very serious and his comments very serious and I hope he comes in serious.
BH: The Sheika-Lacy bout was a really good fight for the ringside crowd and the Showtime viewers, so what kind of fight can the Showtime crowd anticipate between Lacy-Williams?
JL: They are going to go out and see me do as I always do, I’m going to go out and win the fight, I’m going to go out and make everything happen to the point of me winning that battle March 5th. There is no doubt in my mind that I’m going to be the one raising my hands in the end, I’m training very hard and I’m very confident.
BH: You stepped up and faced Syd Vanderpool last October in which you stopped the seasoned vet in round eight to win the IBF super middleweight title. Just walk us through your feelings when you knew you had him and what it felt like to strap on the belt.
JL: Actually when I beat Syd I had dreamed about it so many times and thought about it so many times it was like disavow once I actually really went to the ring and done it. There were so many emotions I really couldn’t celebrate because it was more emotion that people were writing me off in that and that was what really got me pumping. Being the underdog and somebody doubting me, I love it.
BH: What has been your toughest fight in your nineteen professional bouts?
JL: I would have to say just dealing with the guys that up until the championship fight dealing with the guys that didn’t come to the ring to fight. But now it is a totally different atmosphere because they are fighting for a world title, everybody as a professional would love to fight for a world title and win. So that is going to eliminate those guys who are just coming in to the ring and just make a pay day and be out of the door. Williams in looking for the belt so I am taking his thoughts very seriously, I’m going in to this fight very serious as his threats are very serious. The hardest thing now for me is that now that I have this title people are coming to fight.
BH: What inspired you to want to box?
JL: Actually it was a punishment when I was little, I was fighting in elementary school and they called my dad at home and the teachers told him I was in trouble for fighting and he took me to the local boxing gym as a punishment. He put me in there with a guy that was currently fighting at that time and he kicked my butt, and I hated to lose so I stuck with it.
BH: What do you feel is your greatest asset as a fighter?
JL: I think I’m still learning as I’m going and people see that I already have a lot of experience and a lot of talent.
BH: What have you learned in your four years as a prize fighter?
JL: Well it is different for different fighters but the one thing with me it is all about applying the right amount of pressure when to do it and how to do it. I am still developing with my jab, it’s me getting confident, and that’s what I see more of as I go along. And that is what I see as the fights go along; I’m getting more and more confident with my punching and my punching combinations, it is all going to come together.
BH: Any predictions in your upcoming bout? Let me guess, you have a Kung-Fu grip on your belt right?
JL: (Laughs) Oh yeah, I’ve got a Kung-Fu grip on that thing and it’s really going to be tough to get that thing off.
BH: You seem very humble and nice to be a tough guy in your position.
JL: The way I look at it there is no need in playing that tough guy role if you’re not a tough guy on the outside of the ring. I only play the tough guy role when I have too. I’m a stand up guy, you can pretty much come up to me and have a conversation with me on the road, just walk up to me.
BH: Anything you would like to add to or say in closing?
JL: Well, I’m looking to grab another world title; I’m not looking over Williams. Like I said I am treating him as a threat and that what makes me fight. He's threatening and wanting to take my title, I’m going to go out and start the year out good and perhaps by the end of the year I will have another world title around my waist.
I would like to thank Fred Sternburg for his help on setting up this interview, and I want to give a big shout out to Jeff for his time and thoughts, it is much appreciated.
Stay tuned to the Doghouse for an interview with Lacy’s challenger Rubin Williams when he gives his thoughts on his first world title challenge.
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