Birmingham speaks on Lacy's loss to Calzaghe

By James Alden


Birmingham speaks on Lacy's loss to Calzaghe

JA: Tell us about the fight Dan. Jeff didn't seem to be himself. "No not at all. We talked after the fight and of course during the fight, after the fight he was said “That wasn’t me in there”, he lost a spark, he was just flat."

JA: What do you think caused that? Do you think that it was the crowd? the hype of the fight?

DB: I don’t know what it was, I just cant put my finger on it. In retrospect I think that Jeff had his own agenda, kind of like the Wink-Vargas fight. We won the fight but had Wink listened to me we would have won so one sided that there would have been no doubt in anyone‘s mind. I think that Jeff had his own agenda going in to the fight.

JA: Were you surprised how Joe came out?

DB: No not really. I have been studying Joe for the last year, I have about 15 of his fights. I knew that he would be up for this fight, I take my hat off to him he did a tremendous job.

JA: A couple of fights before this he didn’t look all that impressive. It seemed like in this fight he wanted to show that he was the best in the world at 168.

DB: Oh yeah for sure, when he fought Evans Ashira he knew that he wasn’t going to present much of a challenge, the other fights was the same. With facing Jeff who is a thunderous puncher and who has a great reputation, Joe got himself up for this fight. It reminds me of when Wink fought Trinidad and Mosley twice. When Wink knew that he could beat some of these guys he didn’t get him self up for the fights.

JA: A lot of writers are criticizing you and Jeff for going in with one game plan. Did you guys go over just thinking about knocking him out?

DB: How did they know that we only had one game plan? The other game plan wasn’t implemented. I don’t really consider what people think, do, or say in our regard. We had plan A, and B, but like I said in the post fight press conference, what are you going to do when your fighter is not listening to anything to you say? I was telling Jeff after the first round “You blew the round, all your doing is loading up and looping your punches. This is not the way I prepared you for this fight.” He said “Ok I got this guy, Ok I’ll do it” The next round was the same thing, round after round. I was screaming at him.

JA: I could tell in between rounds that you were really trying to get the message across to him.

DB: I was furious.

JA: Do you think that Jeff could have beaten Joe if he had implemented the game plan that you had for him?

DB: I think Jeff can beat him if he listens to the fight plan that we laid out for him, and if he didn’t beat Joe I think that it would be a more competitive fight.

JA: He wouldn’t take the punishment that he took during the fight if he listened to your fight plan?

DB: Not at all.

JA: What would you like to see Jeff do next?

DB: For one thing I want to see Jeff take a rest. Since 2000 he really hasn’t had more than a few weeks off. I told him to take three months off, don’t even listen or think about boxing, just be a regular human being. Let the passion for the game build again and I think that he will come back stronger.

JA: Jeff was chasing Joe for a while now to get him the ring. Do you feel that Jeff owed it to the public and to himself to knock Joe out?

DB: I think that Jeff thought that he could knock him out. Sometimes you can train a fighter and there going to think what there going to think and disregard what you think. I just think that he thought the only way to win in spectacular fashion was to knock Joe out.

JA: How has Jeff been handling the loss?

DB: He’s doing fine, I talked with Jeff three or four times since the fight. He’s apologized and was saying that “It wasn’t me” and “I am going to come back”. Sometimes it takes a loss to better yourself. Wink changed his whole training style after he fought [Julio Cesar] Vasquez. It made Wink stronger and now Wink is considered one of the best fighters pound for pound in the world. I hope Jeff learns from this and comes back stronger.

JA: Do you have the confidence in Jeff?

DB: Oh no doubt. Don’t forget I was with Jeff since he was 9 years old and I have seen this happen before. I just think that tall south paws who are quick footed, quick with their hands are real tough for right handed fighters to beat, its just a fact of life. Perfect example is Winky Wright.

JA: Winky Wright is going to be fighting Jermain Taylor. Do you expect to see the same Winky Wright that we saw in the Trinidad and Mosley fights?

DB: Oh yeah, Wink is going to school Jermain.

JA: You must be really excited about this fight finally getting done.

DB: Oh where real excited for this fight. We are going to start training in the third week of April, we are going to train in Vegas. From what I hear the fight is going to take place in Memphis but when we tried to make ticket reservations they are saying that the fight has been moved to Atlantic City.

JA: I heard that the fight was in Memphis.

DB: Yeah that is what I was told. We talked with Gary and he said that the negotiations were done and the fight will take place in Memphis.

JA: I was talking with Lou Dibella yesterday and he was telling me that Jermain is going to look really good against Wink. Do you expect to see the best Jermain Taylor on June 17th?

DB: He better if he wants to be competitive. I am going to tell you that Wink is really up for this fight.

JA: Do you think that Wink has a lot to prove?

DB: Well I mean there is a lot to prove every fight with the way the public is. Your only as good as your last fight and Wink wants to go out on top. Not that this is going to be his last fight but he is nearing the end. I just think that Wink has too much experience and ring savvy for Taylor.

JA: I wasn’t sure if Chad fought over in England?

DB: Yes he did. Chad won the fight with a third round knockout.

JA: You must be really happy at the way he is progressing.

DB: Chad is my next champ for sure, he is a diamond in the rough and we are just polishing him up. He is a great kid. Chad is 6”3 and can box, punch, he is tough as nails and is one of the nicest kids you will ever meet.

JA: Is he good in the corner Dan?

DB: Oh yeah. He listens and is nice and calm. He is fighting way beyond his years.

JA: Would you like to see him get some sort of title like an NABO or NABF?

DB: He is ready now. He is ready for a title at Light Heavyweight, we had to move him up because he is growing and getting stronger.

JA: I expect that Chad is going to be much stronger at Light Heavyweight?

DB: Oh yeah. He has been really starving to make 168 so I think that this is a good move moving him up to 175.

JA: When would you like to see him in the ring next or is that up to Gary [Shaw]?

DB: Yeah its up to Gary, I let Gary handle the business side of boxing. Gary is a great promoter and a smart man and I let him do his business and I just prepare my fighters for the fights. He always call me and asks me my input and I give him my input and usually where both on the same page. Gary is really high on Chad and so am I.

JA: Is Chad back in the gym or are you going to be giving him some time off?

DB: Actually he is getting married April 21st, when Chad gets married he is going to come back and then where going to go back to work.

JA: Is there anything that you would like to say in closing Dan?

DB: I just want to say that I think that you will see Jeff come back stronger and even better than ever. Jeff is the type of person that can come back from a loss like this. My hat goes off to Joe and Enzo Calzaghe, they're class act people.


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