'Call Em Out Fridays': Jones/Lacy - Who's Right, Who's Left?
By Vivek Wallace: This Saturday night, in Biloxi, Mississippi, former P4P great Roy Jones Jr. (53-5, 39KO's) will take on Jeff 'Left-Hook' Lacy (25-2, 17KO's) in a 12 round light heavyweight bout. In the minds of many around the sport, this is a battle that pairs two men whose better days are behind them, yet to the two men involved who'd rather look ahead, as the saying goes, "it ain't where you're from, it's where you're at"! Those words couldn't be any more fitting, as the symptoms relative to "where they're at" don't exactly bode too well - depending on who you ask. When you take the glimpse full circle, memories of the past for the two men are very intriguing. For Jeff Lacy, there was once a point where many saw him as a rising star in the sport whose power resembled that of a heavyweight, despite his super-middleweight frame. Trouble is, despite that power and its exuded youth, his inability to compete at the highest level has forced many to view his act as being quite old. In the case of Jones, there's a totally different set of issues to contend with, yet they place him in a similar status. Many of us remember his flash, attitude, speed, and power. Fast-forward a few years and the realization that those things have evaporated hits, leaving the aging contender a bit vulnerable in the eye of the public..
Article posted on 14.08.2009
After finding a certain level of success and now finding themselves on the outside looking in, both men now aim to prove to many that they still belong. As odd as it seems, in the case of Roy Jones Jr., the question of relativity can bare many varying answers. Can he be the force he once was, rarely losing a round and winning by way of total domination? No, but when you take a hard look at what's out there, it should be duly noted that he falls far from the bottom of the crop, as well. Recently, retired boxer/promoter Oscar De La Hoya was quoted as saying that he feels Jones should retire. Like Oscar, Jones is far removed from his better days, but unlike Oscar, a key here is that Jones is still somewhat competitive in the fights he has taken lately. With age stripping him of those birth-given assets he once possessed, Jones has had to dig deep into the bag of fundamentals to learn things his youth once gave him without effort. Whether we agree with him staying in the sport (or not), in fact he has. An example came in his fight against Joe Calzaghe, where we saw the elder Jones fight his way through a humbling 12 rounds with one of the nastiest cuts seen in a quite some time - definitely the nastiest of his career. A few years ago, that sight wasn't fathomable, but rather than lying down, he soldiered on. One point that Oscar made about Jones does bode true (referring to Jones' ego being the reason of him remaining in the sport), but that's also the one element that makes him who he is. Similar to the Ali, Hopkins, and Mayweather mold, Jones is the type of fighter who has to amp himself up, and although there are limitations to everything in life, this raging ego has also been known to pump many up beyond the point where some tend to simply shut down. Whether or not it takes Jones across the ledge remains to be seen.
With Jones, Calzaghe basically stripped some of the remaining armor from his heart; but with Lacy, many would argue that he in fact took his complete heart, as he has never appeared to be the same in the ring again. Following his loss to Calzaghe (and later Taylor), Lacy has not only failed to knockout any opponents, but has barely squeezed by them at all. His efforts have seemed more and more to resemble a fighter who has lost a love for his craft, and that could make him the sacrificial lamb that Jones desperately needs to rekindle a lost flame in his career. A perfect example of Lacy's recent slide can be witnessed in his poor statistical efforts lately which most ended in question, and each had atleast one scoring official calling the bout a draw or giving it to the opponent. You parallel that with Jones' ability to box and use what's left of a once stellar skillset, and there's no way you can view him as a non-contender. For the aging Jones, there was no answer for a fighter like Calzaghe who throws so many punches per round, as his biggest asset (offense), was turned into a liability because he had to remain on the defensive. In my firm belief, any opponent who doesn't have the ability to throw a hundred punches per round will still have a tough time handling Jones' speed and power. That equation makes Lacy look like a sitting duck who could be preparing for his final swan song. Leading up to this affair, both men have spoken highly of what they're gonna do and how they're gonna do it. With their backs against the wall and options being quite scarce, whomever was right will in fact be the only one left.....as for the loser, more than this particular fight will be lost. Stay tuned.
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at [email protected], 954-292-7346, Youtube (Vivek1251), Twitter (Vivek747), Facebook, Myspace, and www.vivekwallace.com)
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