06.11.05 - By Jim Amato: Jeff Lacy defended his IBF Super Middleweight title with an impressive two round stoppage of the capable Scott Pemberton. This was a bout where Jeff Lacy needed to make a statement, and he did. It was loud and clear. He made it known through his actions and not his words that he is the "Man " at 168 lbs. Sorry Joe..
Scott Pemberton is no slouch. He was a legitimate contender with a solid resume. He earned this title shot. This was not a gimme fight for Lacy but it came off looking that way. Why ? Truth be told Mr. Lacy is peaking and the rest of the world's super middleweights better watch out. That includes Joe Calzahge. The stage has been set for a showdown between the unbeaten Lacy and the undefeated Calzaghe. Joe has held the WBO title for years but he may be on the downside of his fine career. If they would have met when Lacy first won his IBF crown I may have leaned toward Joe but not now. Why?
First off Jeff Lacy is pound for pound one of the strongest boxers in the world. Second, although he was always a hard puncher early on he was a thumper, basically a heavy handed hitter. Now he seems to have added snap to those power shots. This comes with hours of training to hone the timing. As I said Lacy is peaking and he is now a very dangerous man.
Calzaghe is a fine boxer. He has very fast hands and sets a fast pace. Although he has a fine record, it is a bit inflated. There is not a lot of top shelf names adorning his ledger. Lacy's people have brought him along very nicely. He is where he should be and after he fights and beats Calzaghe he will be the master of his own destiny. Will that include a foray in to the light heavyweight division ? Now that could be real interesting.