Dhafir “No Fear” Smith Defeats Jeff Lacy in St. Petersburg!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 17, 2010)
There’s an old saying “never jab with a jabber”! Well, former IBF Super middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy couldn’t get by the excellent jab of Philadelphia’s Dhafir “No Fear” Smith Saturday night at the Jannus Landing, in St. Petersburg, FL, where hometown favorite Lacy was making his first appearance.

The last time Smith fought in St. Petersburg it was 2004 and in Russia! In the Philly gyms everyone say’s “Dhafir Smith has the best jab in the business but too bad he doesn’t have a right hand to go with it.” Well, the new UBO International Super middleweight champion can put that tag behind him. This should put Smith into the UBO world ratings with champion Kali “The Malekula Kid” Jacobus of Vanuatu in the south pacific’s near Australia is the champion.

“I asked for this fight by calling the matchmaker,” said Smith. Smith has a very deceiving record of 24-19-7 with only 4 knockouts now. He is 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights not losing since 2008. Beating the former world champion should earn him the respect of the rest of the world outside of Philadelphia and all the boxing organizations.

“It was a tough fight, trust me. We went to war. He hit me with a left hook in the first round that stung me. I looked to my corner and my trainer Percy Custus and it looked like he stopped breathing. I nodded I was okay and he seemed to come to life,” said Smith.

There have been those naysayers behind Smith’s back saying he can’t win the big one. Not only did Smith out box Lacy but seemed to be the stronger of the two inside while being able to push Lacy back. “He (Smith) looked good. They underestimate him due to his record. He didn’t do all I have been working with him or he may have stopped Lacy. We’ll continue to work on these things and he’ll be okay,” said Custus.

“I wanted a tough fight and I got one,” said Lacy. He had just gotten his shoulder repaired and was off for 14 months but said he felt great. He’s now been 4-3 since losing to Joe Calzaghe but 2 of those losses were to former champions Jermain Taylor and Roy Jones, Jr. which is nothing to be ashamed of.

Now Lacy loses to Smith who finally lived up to his potential with the help of Custus. His trainer runs the best gym in Philadelphia, Shuler’s Gym in West Philadelphia, named after now deceased James “Black Gold” Shuler. It’s where Philly’s only world champion Steve “USS” Cunningham who holds the IBF Cruiserweight title and top heavyweight Eddie Chambers spar. With 50 fights under his belt and only 28 Smith now has the opportunity of a lifetime to cash in on this victory.

“I couldn’t believe how easy it was to hit him with a jab. If you stand in front of him he could knock you out. I hit him with a jab and he kept coming. He is not through,” said Smith. The scores of the judges were 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112. There was no doubt the winner was Smith! Lacy and his Left Hook Promotions co-promoted the fight with Fightnight Promotions.

Back in 1993 there was another Philly fighter named Fred “Fearless” Pendleton who was 32-17-3 when he won the vacant IBF lightweight title. When it comes to boxing sometimes you have to throw the records out. When it comes to a Philadelphia fighter never take him for granted.

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