The best boxers in this world tend to be those who have incredible grit and determination, and don’t let personal setbacks affect their performance in the ring. Joe Calzaghe was one of the biggest names in UK and worldwide boxing for many years, and his incredible record in the ring makes him one of the true legends of the game. Having been the WBO Super Middleweight Champion for more than eight years after dispatching Chris Eubank, Calzaghe took on Jeff Lacy to defend his title in Manchester.
With 17 successful defenses, Joe was going for a win that would establish him in the pantheon of the top boxers of all-time. Jeff Lacy was an impressive American boxer who was showing comparisons to legend Mike Tyson, and was a genuine prospect in the ring. He had won the 2004 IBF title by comfortably dismissing Syd Vanderpool in the 8th. The fight was nearly cancelled, as Calzaghe was suffering from left hand problems following the defeat of Evans Ashira, but he was convinced to stay on by his dad and promoter Frank Warren.
The fight itself was far more basic, however. Calzaghe asserted his credentials by spending the night sending Lacy sprawling time and time again. He rocked the American several times and even knocked him down for a career first. Without landing any solid punches of his own, the fight was a comprehensive Calzaghe victory that changed the entire perceptions of the Welshman around the world. Calzaghe landed roughly 1,006 punches to Lacys 116. After the match, Joe quipped that a rematch would probably see him put in jail for the beating he would administer!
From this point on, the myth of Jeff Lacy was finished forever. He never became anything like the star we were promised, and Calzaghe continue to grow from strength to strength. He actually retired unbeaten, one of the few boxers to do so, and his outstanding performance against Lacy is just one of the reasons he is so highly quoted in the boxing world. A true superstar, this is the performance that really established the big Welshman as one of the premium names in the industry.
Looking to find out more about one of the UKs best ever fighters? Read into his career, it’s one of the most genuinely thrilling things you can do today! He’s a real livewire and his outstanding consistency in the face of his own private problems is something to truly behold.