Boxing


Sharkie’s Machine: Lacy And The Ref Stop Reid After Seven

August 7th, 200- By Frank Gonzalez Jr. - Saturday night in Tampa Florida, IBO Super Middleweight Champion Robin Reid, lost his Title to IBF Champ Jeff Lacy, in Lacy’s backyard. Though Lacy (photo: Tom Casino / Showtime) fought a very sloppy fight and showed his usual defensive shortcomings, he had the hometown advantage working in his favor big-time in this contest. This fight was televised on Showtime, where the announcing and the officiating for this event was so biased that frankly, it was not just hard to listen, to but it was disgraceful. The referee, Jorge Alonso, a referee I like, that has given good accounts of himself in the past, was amazingly anti-Reid in this campaign to post another W on Lacy’s resume.

Early on, Reid was doing well, landing his jab and avoiding Lacy’s wide and wildly aggressive shots. Showtime’s announce team of Steve Alberts and Al Bernstein were drooling with praise every time Lacy threw a punch, hit or miss. I thought Reid won the first round with cleaner punches and better defense.

The second round was pretty close, with Reid popping his jab effectively and Lacy starting to land an occasional shot that got the crowd to screaming and the announce team to creaming themselves. Lacy was more active but he was less effective. Of course, you’d have to watch the fight with the sound off to notice.

At one point, Lacy turned his back on Reid, who restrained himself after throwing one shot. The ref yelled at him as if it were his fault Lacy turned himself around the way he did. Reid was the sharper puncher but Lacy was making more noise.

The ref warned Reid for holding in the opening moment of the third round, though both were holding after an exchange that turned into wrestling. The ref was circling the fighters, with his eye constantly on Reid, who landed a nice 1-2 combo. Lacy landed a low blow but Alonzo said nothing. A moment later, Lacy landed a forearm to Reid’s neck. Alonzo said nothing. The combination of Lacy and Alonzo was starting to prove frustrating for Reid, who covered up and endured the sloppy aggression of Lacy in a round I scored even.

Lacy pressed. Reid countered with his jab. Lacy finally found his jab and landed a few but was met by a Reid uppercut, followed by a well-placed body shot. Lacy looked to Alonzo, grimacing in pain. Amazingly, Alonzo didn’t help him out that time. Lacy proceeded to hit during clinches without being warned. Whenever Reid clinched, Alonzo was all over him. Lacy went wild in the last seconds of the fourth and stole the round even though he missed most of his punches. But the crowd loved it and of course, Alberts and Bernstein were having an orgasm on account of Lacy’s late rally.

In an ugly exchange in the fifth round, Reid appeared to intentionally head butt Lacy. The ref shouted, “Stop!” and as Reid turned toward the ref, Lacy clocked him with a right hand that sent Reid down. Technically, it was an illegal blow but the ref turned and counted as Reid got up. Once up, Alonso instructed the Judges to take a point from Reid for the head butt. He said nothing to Lacy about hitting after he shouted, “Stop.” Protect yourself at all times—especially when the ref is clearly there to protect your opponent.

It was clear that the ONLY way Reid was going to win this fight in Tampa Florida was by knockout. As frustrated as Reid was, things progressively got worse when Lacy scored a legitimate knockdown right before the bell. It was all downhill for Reid afterwards.

In the sixth, Reid changed his strategy and boxed from outside, even though he was doing well on the inside offensively—on the inside he had to worry about the ref as well as Lacy. Lacy landed another low blow but Alonso said nothing. Lacy followed up with a right hand that sent Reid down on his knees. After beating the count, Reid pushed Lacy, who fell backwards and smiled as his buddy Jorge Alonso helped him up. If Lacy had pushed Reid down, would it have been called a knockdown? I couldn’t help but wonder.

Between the incredible one-sidedness of the officiating and the sickening blowjob commentary of Alberts and Bernstein, I thought I was going to puke.

In the seventh, Lacy landed a nice elbow to Reid’s jaw. Alonso took a point—from Reid—for holding. Alonso threatened to disqualify him if he held again. Amazing.

A moment later, Reid got caught by a Lacy right uppercut and went down. Alonso counted quickly but Reid managed beat the referee’s speedy count.

In Reid’s corner, his trainer told Robin that he was going to stop the fight. Reid protested but his corner man called the ref and told him to stop the fight. Alonso waved the fight off. It was over. Alonso held up Lacy’s arm in victory.

During the post fight interview, Lacy gave himself ample praise and credited his fans for their support. When it was Reid’s turn to be interviewed, he was asked about the controversial fifth round. While Reid was saying that the first knockdown was from an illegal blow since the ref said, “Stop” …Dan Birmingham (Lacy’s trainer) interrupted him and challenged what he was saying. It was totally consistent with the whole show.

Reid went on to say that Lacy was hitting him behind the head and that accounted for some of the knockdowns. Reid also said he landed some good shots and that he wasn’t hurt, and wanted to continue. Lacy also interrupted to mention that they were both throwing some dirty shots.

What Lacy failed to mention in his interruption was that whenever he did something dirty, the ref ignored it. When Reid did anything even seemingly out of sorts, the ref was all over him. In my view, that was the difference in this fight. If there was some fairness in the officiating, there’s a good chance the result would have been different. Maybe Lacy would have won—but probably not by TKO after seven. But who knows?

I wonder how would Lacy handle a biased referee who was constantly on his case? The way Lacy is managed, we’ll never find out—unless Lacy goes abroad to fight. We all KNOW Calzaghe won’t be coming to the States to fight Lacy after seeing the treatment Reid got.

In the end, Lacy won. It was ugly and somewhat controversial but Reid sure as hell didn’t win.

Congrats to Jeff Lacy for his third successful defense of his IBF Super Middleweight Title.

Lacy better work on improving his skills and stick to fighting B class fighters as he proceeds to be ‘groomed for greatness.’ He’s the IBF Champion and he’s yet to fight a top-notch fighter. He’s lucky his chin is good because his defense isn’t.

The Super Middleweight division isn’t chock full of quality fighters, but there are three other “Champions” out there in Markus Beyer (WBC), Mikkel Kessler (WBA) and Joe Calzaghe (WBO).

If Lacy is so good, maybe he ought to be equally as bold and go fight in the backyard of one of the above named Champions. If he can beat any of them, I’ll happily jump on his bandwagon. But for now, I’m still not sold on Jeff Lacy.

* * *

Agree or disagree? Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 07.08.2005



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