Promoter Gary Shaw announced today that the long-awaited world super middleweight title unification fight between IBF/IBO champion JEFF "LEFT HOOK" LACY and WBO champion JOE CALZAGHE has been signed and will be broadcast live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing. Promoter Frank Warren, who represents Calzaghe, stated that the fight would take place in February or March 2006 in Cardiff, Wales. The Ring magazine will also sanction this super-fight for its vacant title. Not since undefeated world welterweight champions Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns locked horns 24 years ago, has there been a world title unification so eagerly anticipated!
Lacy, 21-0 (17 KOs), from St. Petersburg, FL, has proven to be the most active world champion in boxing, successfully defending his world title four times (three by knockout) since winning it, October 2, 2004.
"FINALLY!!!! The two best super middleweights will be risking undefeated records and world championship belts just like Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns did when they first fought, and I applaud Joe for taking the risk. He is a true champion." said Lacy. "This fight is great for the sport, great for the fans, and great for me, because I am going to be walking out of the ring with my belts, his belt and The Ring belt! The only "O" Joe will have after the fight is the one in his first name. I am a man of few words, but many punches, and they will all be landing on Joe Calzaghe."
Calzaghe, 40-0 (31 KOs), from Newbridge, Wales, is the longest reigning world champion in boxing. Since winning the title, October 11, 1997, he has successfully defended it 17 times.
"I saw Lacy's last fight against Scott Pemberton and it was impressive," said Calzaghe. "But against me, he is going to be in the ring with the hardest-hitting super middleweight out there and he will know it. I look at Lacy as a guy on the way up in his career, not a guy on the way out, so I know that he is going to be hungry to take my title, but that's not going to happen."
"We are thrilled that this bout will be airing live on Showtime and not on pay-per-view," said Showtime Sports & Event Programming General Manager Ken Hershman. "We are committed to bringing our subscribers the best match-ups in boxing on the first Saturday of every month and we worked hard after the last cancellation with Frank and Gary to put this back together. This is what boxing needs - the biggest fights on the broadest platform. This is good for boxing!"
Lacy and Calzaghe are scheduled to announce the fight at a series of news conferences in London (November 21), Cardiff (November 22) and New York & Tampa / St. Petersburg in early December.