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Hooked on Boxing: Former Super Middleweight Champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy Speaks About his Return to RSR

Interview by Marc Anthony

“This is not about the money; this is about the LOVE that I grew to have for this sport at the age of seven years old.” – Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy

2000 US Olympian, Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy was on top of the boxing stardom ladder. Many people considered him to be the next Mike Tyson. He would go on to win the IBF Super Middleweight Title in 2004. Then, in 2006, he lost for the first time in his pro boxing career to super middleweight superstar Joe Calzaghe in a title unification bout.

Some people no longer believed in him anymore. After that loss, he racked up a three fight win streak. In 2008 and 2009 he went 1-2.
Now Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy has a date set on December 11th at Jannus Live in Saint Petersburg, Florida, appropriately titled “Day I Rise.” He will be facing Dhafir Smith for the UBO Super Middleweight Title.

The message is clear.

MA: Can you bring the fans up to speed in what you been up to?

Really, just focusing on me, and getting everything back together. I mean, with the rehab and this shoulder injury you know, it really threw my body out of whack and I am just now coming around where I am having the feeling that everything is connected again.

Everything is moving swiftly!

MA: I read online that you completed the Florida State Trooper Academy. Is this true?

No, someone got me mixed up with someone else. Someone got me mixed up. Someone that thought they knew me. I read something about that online and I guess there was a guy that says he knows me closely. I am like okay…you know me closely, but I didn’t do that.

MA: How do you turn the switch from nice person to “I am going KO this guy” mentality?

I mean, it’s not a switch…it’s in me. Everybody has two sides of themselves you know. I mean everybody, you have a side that you know, well, not everybody but you know you have a kind side and you have the other side that you know that you push that right button and you get a totally different person. And when I duck my head under the ropes you know that’s when that button is pushed because you got everything that you set… that stands behind you…everybody that is pushing you…cheering you on. You have family, everything! This is our job just like it’s your job to do what you do as a profession.

MA: Do you have any prefight rituals that you do before you get in the ring?

Only thing I do is always put my left hand in the glove first time, then I lace, I pull the laces tight I won’t let my trainer do that.

MA: I am curious…can you hear the other corner talking during a fight?

Nah, I don’t pay attention to the other stuff, my opposing team’s corner. I don’t even pay attention to it. I would be missing out on what my instructions are!

MA: How long is your training camp for this fight?

Ah, I would say. To be honest, this training camp has been ongoing. As far as since the Roy Jones fight, I viewed that film and I saw where my strength level on my left side is nowhere compared to my right side. And I was fighting, and each side was fighting each other. So they were throwing my balance off. My balance has been off since I had this surgery and not having the strength to on my left side to compete with the right side. So I went back to therapy to take it slow. And that’s what it has been since the last of my showing coming into the ring and now I am back

MA: I am excited in seeing you coming back!

You just said you are really excited for me coming back. Now imagine how I feel? I mean it’s just, I kid you not, it’s like something has touched me. The Lord has touched me in a way that I didn’t think that it would ever happen. You know because, what I was going through, I know my body better than anybody, you know, and for critics to sit back and say, oh he is done. If I was done I wouldn’t let boxing retire me. Trust me!

I am as honest as I am with my career then anybody could ever know. To me, I would give me the straight up truth, the bad or the good about what it is, and I am not going ever lie to myself. And if I felt like I couldn’t continue to keep competing and doing what I do I wouldn’t keep doing this. This is not about the money; this is about the LOVE that I grew to have for this sport at the age of seven years old.

I don’t like when people they criticize and then they form their opinion like oh he shouldn’t be doing this, He shouldn’t be fighting anymore. Okay, you shouldn’t go to work no more. How could you be the one to tell me and form your opinion and it will be okay, you be upset in what I am doing

It’s a fact when you are dealing with someone who is not going to lie to themselves that is what is the most important! If I am not, then I wouldn’t allow myself or create something that is not. Then no, I am telling you no, no, I can sit here and tell you that you know. I was totally lost with everything that was going on with my life. In my last previous fights. I can sit here and tell you that it’s been times in the fight where I was like why the hell am I here. I was so disconnected with what I am doing. I had no clue what was going on. I kid you not! And that’s me being honest. That’s me being honest.

Telling you the straight up truth, since this injury my body has been so out of whack and if I was going to do it I told a reporter after that fight with Roy Jones I said look I don’t feel like I can be 110 percent with my left shoulder then you won’t see me talking about, I wouldn’t be doing this interview with you anymore.

MA: Being an Olympian, What are your thoughts on women finally being able to compete in Olympic Boxing?

I think I am mean, I am looking at it from a guy’s point of view and being able to represent my country United States , It’s a D R E A M come true, it’s something that no one , just like you said in the beginning. I am a former Olympian you can never take that away from no one. At the same time by me being an Olympian. I’ve had conversations with people that I tell them I am an Olympian and there like I never met an Olympian before. And the Olympics is every four years, you don’t have many people that really met an Olympian before.

So it’s something that that you can hold so close and hold on to and it will always be in the record book. You will be able to tell your kids, your grand kids. They will be able to see your name, even when you’re gone. I am able to see my name in the 2000; I represented my country in the 2000 US Olympics at 165 pounds as an amateur. You can never take that away and for the women to be able to finally experience that as a fighter. It’s just sad that it’s just now come about, to be honest.

MA: On December 11th fighting with or without a beard?

Um, it will be, I am not going have a long, a full beard, but there will be a mustache.

MA: With the event on December 11th called “Day I Rise.” Do you feel you given yourself any added pressure/motivation?

Really, seriously the way I feel, I am driven, I am driven by the desire that I have right now. It’s unreal. Like I said if you don’t understand when I listen to the words that I say when I say this. I Feel like I have been touched by something that has me at wow. Like I told you in the beginning, I can’t believe I am doing some of the things that I am doing, I am doing things that I haven’t been doing before the injury.

MA: Final words to the RSR readers.

I just really want to say thanks… Thank you to my really true fans that you know what I am saying that have always been loyal. Fans that no matter what they didn’t criticize me, that they didn’t put me down. And seriously I still I hear what everybody has to say and seriously it means a lot. It means a lot to be able to sit back and say you know what; I still have fans that are willing to see me prosper.

Jeff Lacy
Nickname: “Left Hook”
Division: Super Middleweight
Professional Record: 25-3, 17 KO’s


04-10 — Otis Griffin, Tampa, FL, W 10
08-15 — Roy Jones Jr., Biloxi, MS, TKO by 10


07-23 — Epifanio Mendoza, Cabazon, CA, W 10
11-15 — Jermain Taylor, Nashville, TN, L 12


12-08 — Peter Manfredo Jr., Las Vegas, NV, W 10


03-04 — Joe Calzaghe, Manchester, England L 12
(Lost IBF Super Middleweight Title)
(For WBO Super Middleweight Title)
12-02 — Vitali Tsypko, Tampa, FL, W 10


03-05 — Rubin Williams, Las Vegas, NV, TKO 7
(Retained IBF Super Middleweight Title)
08-06 — Robin Reid, Tampa, FL, TKO 7
(Retained IBF Super Middleweight Title)
11-05 — Scott Pemberton, Stateline, NV, TKO 2
(Retained IBF Super Middleweight Title)


06-05 — Vitali Tsypko, Joplin, MO, NC ND 2
10-02 — Syd Vanderpool, Las Vegas, NV, TKO 8
(Won Vacant IBF Super Middleweight Title)
12-04 — Omar Sheika, Las Vegas, NV, W 12
(Retained IBF Super Middleweight Title)


02-22 — James Crawford, Memphis, TN, TKO 2
05-17 — Anwar Oshana, Reno, NV, TKO 2
07-15 — Richard Grant, Beverly Hills, CA, W 12
12-13 — Donnell Wiggins, Manchester, England, TKO 8


01-12 — Fike Wilson, Las Vegas, NV, TKO 1
02-16 — Glenn Thomas, Uncasville, CT, KO 1
03-30 — Bobby Jones, Concho, OK, W 10
06-08 — Kevin Hall, Memphis, TN, TKO 3
08-17 — Jason Collins, Cardiff, Wales, KO 1
11-09 — Ross Thompson, Oklahoma City, OK, W 12


02-02 — Jerald Lowe, Columbus, OH, KO 1
03-02 — Tommy Attardo, Las Vegas, NV, TKO 1
05-19 — Tony Pope, Uncasville, CT, TKO 1
09-01 — Anthony Greeley, El Paso, TX, KO 1
09-22 — Tyler Hughes, Las Vegas, NV, TKO 3
10-13 — Bawa Adime, Atlantic City, NJ, TKO 3

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