Mon, 07 Mar 2005


Boxer Lacy defends title

Associated Press, Las Vegas

Jeff Lacy loves nothing better than a good fight and a willing opponent. He got both Saturday night, finally wearing down Rubin Williams in the seventh round to successfully defend his 75.6- kilogram title.

Lacy hit Williams with his trademark left hook and everything else in his arsenal before finally stopping the game challenger at 47 seconds of the seventh round in the second defense of the IBF super-middleweight title he won six months ago.

Williams never went down but was taking a flurry of punches in the corner when referee Tony Weeks moved in to stop the fight.

"I wasn't looking for the referee to stop it; I wanted to make him want to stop it," Lacy said. "I want it left in my hands, not the referee."

The fight preceded the Jose Luis Castillo-Julio Diaz WBC lightweight title fight at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

Lacy, a 2000 Olympian, improved to 19-0 as a pro in his third fight in six months. But it wasn't always easy, as he took some shots from the counter-punching Williams while pursuing him around the ring.

Lacy, who has 15 knockouts, seemed to get his second wind in the sixth round and was pummeling Williams in the corner as the round ended. Williams wobbled going back to his stool, and Lacy came right after him when the bell sounded to begin the seventh round to try and put him down.

"As the rounds went by I got stronger and stronger," Lacy said. "He was determined. He was a bad boy. I have to admit he has a great chin, but I can dish it out and I can take it."

Williams (26-2) had fought Lacy three times in the amateurs. But even though Lacy had fewer fights as a pro, he had fought far more quality fighters and seemed to be the more experienced boxer.

"I don't blame them for stopping the fight when they did," Williams said. "I tried to get Lacy to come in so that I could counter but he hit too hard. I learned a lot and I hope that I proved I was a good fighter."