New Stars Are Rising

By Tom Donelson
Updated: August 8, 2005

NEW YORK — Jeff Lacy’s dismantling of Robin Reid is ushering a new area of boxing as new superstars are challenging the old for supremacy. Boxing is a sport driven by personality due to it very nature of being an individual sports.

Mike Tyson is a prime example of this. For nearly two decades, the adventure of Mike Tyson both in and out of the ring sold tickets. Tyson fearsome power in the ring thrilled boxing fans and his soap opera outside the ring attracted even the most casual fans and his PPV numbers made history.

Oscar De La Hoya was another crowd pleaser. Blessed with a golden smile and Hollywood looks, De La Hoya translated talent into a corporation. Tyson is now retired and De La Hoya looks very comfortable in his business suit. The old stars are fading from the scene and now new stars are coming forth.

Jeff Lacy is not yet the best in his division but he is one of the super Middleweights elites. What makes Jeff Lacy appealing is that he knocks people out. Blessed with power in both hands and a pressure style, Lacy excites fans.

And when you throw in Lacy propensity to be hit by his opponent’s rights, you have excitement built in every fight. Lacy will hit and be hit, providing a thrill a second in every one of his fights.

In his bout with Robin Reid, he pounded the poor Brit from ring post to ring post. From the second round on, Lacy used combinations to pummel Reid. Overhand rights to the head combined with left hooks shooting up and down, Lacy showed a variety of weapons. The right uppercut sent Reid down for a fourth time in the seventh and convinced Reid’s corner, enough was enough.

Lacy is not lacking in confidence and he will be facing one of boxing’s best, Joe Calzaghe, providing Calzaghe wins his fight in September. Calzaghe has won 17 straight title fights and has been looking for the one defining fight that will get him noticed and Lacy is that fight. Calzaghe and Lacy fight will be similar to Hopkins-Taylor in which a rising star faced a Hall of Fame fighter past his peak.

Both Taylor and Lacy are crowd pleasing with big punches and pleasing personalities, a great combination when it comes to marketing. Taylor is a boxer puncher with a sledgehammer jab and strong right hand.

Lacy is a Joe Frazier-style of fighter, always moving forward and armed with arsenal of weapons on the inside. Either way, both men can end a fight with one punch and that adds to their appeal.

For the past decade the 168 pounds has been a mainstay of Europe as the best fighters fought across the Atlantic Ocean. Joe Calzaghe is an unknown entity to the American boxing fans but there is no doubt to the man’s talent. Calzaghe is a boxer-puncher who can beat an opponent in a variety of ways with a knockout punch that could threaten Lacy undefeated record.

As the old stars fade from the limelight, new stars are taking hold. Taylor and Lacy will become fixture in years to come in the Middleweight and maybe in the Light Heavyweight divisions. Lacy’s victory over Reid is signaling that many of today’s young stars are not ready for prime time