SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was born when “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler defeated John “The Beast” Mugabi in a spectacular and unforgettable 11th-round knockout in Las Vegas. On March 4, 2006, SHOWTIME will deliver a special 20th anniversary gift to fans and continue its legacy as “America’s No. 1 Boxing Network” with the most meaningful world title unification fight of the decade. Undefeated, hard-hitting super middleweight world champions Jeff “Left Hook’’ Lacy (International Boxing Federation) and Joe Calzaghe (World Boxing Organization) will finally meet in a 12-round showdown to determine once and for all the best in the division.
The much anticipated match up, being promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, in association with Frank Warren’s Sport Network, will air LIVE on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) from the MEN Arena in Manchester, England.
JEFF LACY (21-0, 1 ND, 17 KOs)
"This is a huge fight between me and Calzaghe, and a fight that a lot of boxing fans are going to enjoy and get their money's worth out of."
"My goal is to unify the super-middleweight division. If I cannot unify because I cannot leave the U.S.A., I do not consider myself a true champion. I have a lot of respect for Calzaghe, but I have to come over and win this world title."
"I love being the underdog. I love how the crowd changes at the end of the fight. I think there is more pressure on Calzaghe because he is fighting in his hometown."
JOE CALZAGHE (40-0, 31 KOs)
"This is a massive fight, a career-defining fight. I want to be at my very best on the night."
"My hand is fine (regarding hand he broke against Evans Ashira). Obviously, these things happen in boxing, but, come March 4, it will be fine."
"I am convinced I am going to win. This is the icing on the cake as far as I am concerned. It is an even bigger fight now after what Lacy did to Scott Pemberton."
GARY SHAW (Lacy’s Promoter)
"The story in this fight is Lacy coming across to the United Kingdom, not only to defend his title, but to bring home another belt as well. The only 'O' Joe Calzaghe is going to have when we leave here is the one in his name."
"This is the single biggest fight in the super-middleweight division since James Toney fought Roy Jones Jr. It will breathe life back into the division."
"Inside the ring I do not think there has ever been a fighter I can remember since the early Mike Tyson that comes in and throws punches with the fury that Lacy comes into the ring with. He does not ask if someone is a southpaw or whatever. All he says is give me the date and the time I have to be in the locker room."
"When Lacy beats Joe Calzaghe, at the end of 2006, he will be the biggest fighter in this weight division or any other division, in this country, the U.S.A., or anywhere in the world."
FRANK WARREN (Calzaghe’s Promoter)
"Calzaghe is one of the biggest punchers in the world, one of the best movers, has one of the best brains, and he has a great chin...of course I am backing him to win. I really fancy Calzaghe, and I have tremendous faith in his ability. But, it is going to be a huge fight, a sensational fight."
"I would say this is one of the top-three fights I have promoted. Obviously, Benn-McClellan, for good reasons and bad reasons, is up there. Ricky Hatton's fight with Kostya Tszyu and Bruno-McCall were also big, but this is in the top three. You have two guys here who are both at the top of their game, and that is what makes it exciting."