Exclusive Interview: Super Middleweight Champ Jeff Lacy

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Super Middleweight Champ Jeff Lacy

Lacy Responds To Andre Ward!

GL: What's good Jeff? Can you give us some of your thoughts on the Sheika fight?  "I just went out there and did what I had to do to keep this title. Omar Sheika was coming to fight knowing he was getting a title shot so I had to be on top of my game."

GL: In the second round of the fight Sheika seemed to hurt you. Was that the hardest you've been hit as a professional?

Jeff Lacy: "It's not the hardest I've been hit as a professional. It shook me up a little bit. It was actually more of punch that let me know, 'this is a fight Jeff, let's go'. Coming into the fight we knew he could punch and throughout his career he's shown he can punch. That happens in boxing, but I think everyone saw what I did, I took it and came back strong and stayed strong the whole night."

GL: How would you assess your overall performance?

JL: "I feel like there's a number of things I would have done if I had to do it again. One of the things I think we would have done was get a better referee because he was doing a lot of holding and hitting with his head. As far as my performance, I could have thrown a lot more combinations. I wasn't able to throw as many as I wanted to though because he was holding so much. I also didn't throw enough jabs so I know I'm going to have to be doing a lot more of that."

GL: Does it disappoint you that the fight was a lot tougher than most people expected?

JL: "No it doesn't disappoint me at all Greg. Fighters get up when they're getting a world title shot, especially when they feel like they've got the experience over the younger guy. People aren't going into these title fights looking to lay down, they're coming in to make a statement. Omar got up for the fight and it's much tougher to beat somebody when their most determined."

GL: As you've just said you're the younger fighter, and that's probably how it will remain in most of your fights. During your rise to the title you've always told me each fight was a learning experience to prepare you for when you became a champion, but are you still taking each fight as learning experience now that you are the champ?

Jeff Lacy: "Well Greg, you never stop learning and every fight I have is a learning experience. In this Omar Sheika fight I learned that I could slug it out into the later rounds, but I also learned that I may not have to it if use my jab and throw more combinations.  As far as my boxing technique, I winged a lot shots instead of bringing them upward and across. There's a lot of improving to do after seeing the fight, but that's just going to be making me work a lot harder. If me and him ever had to fight again it would be a totally different fight."

GL: After the war with Vanderpool on October 2, in hindsight, which is always 20-20, do you feel you may have been better served in taking a rest instead fighting Sheika so soon? Do you feel not having more rest had a negative effect on your performance?

Jeff Lacy: "I don't think it effected my performance, I think it only enhanced it. I was dealing with him, him holding, him using his head and leaning in with it and the referee not doing anything about it. If I didn't have the experience to remain focused, I think it would have been a totally different fight."

GL: Jeff, I don't know if you're aware of this but 2004 Olympic Gold Medallist Andre Ward said he's gunning for you.

JL: He's gunning for me he said?

GL: That's what he said homey on our TNT chat session.

JL: Andre Ward said he's gunning for me?

GL: Yes Jeff. I'm not making it up.

JL: Well tell him he's got a long way to go. It wasn't an easy road to get here and those are some big words to be talking when you haven't even stepped into the rign as a professional yet. He's a talented young fighter coming up but it's not an easy road to where I am so until he shows us something at this level, then maybe I'll take those words into consideration."


Send questions and comments to: gleon@boxingtalk.net