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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Lacy tough as leather
The IBF super middleweight champion defends his title with a TKO against Robin Reid.
By JOHN C. COTEY
Published August 7, 2005
[Times photo: Willie J. Allen Jr.]
Jeff Lacy, right, was ahead on all three judges' cards 70-57 when his bout with Robin Reid was stopped after the seventh round.
TAMPA - Robin Reid tried boxing, then he tried holding and when neither worked, he tried brawling.
And when that failed, his trainer, Brian Hughes, decided nothing would.
Jeff Lacy beat Reid into submission Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum, putting the never-before floored Brit on the canvas four times and sending the crowd of 15,056 home with exactly what they had come to see.
A devastating, knockout victory.
"It was my decision to stop it," Hughes said. "I didn't want him to get hurt anymore."
Using his whole arsenal to perfection, Lacy destroyed Reid in seven rounds, leaving him slumped on his stool and unable to come out for the eighth.
When it was stopped, all three judges had Lacy ahead 70-57.
"The crowd took me to another level," Lacy said. "I didn't take him lightly. I don't take anyone lightly. I trained hard. I took it to another level."
It was Lacy's third successful defense of his IBF super middleweight championship, and he added Reid's IBO belt to his trophy case. Lacy is now 20-0 with 15 knockouts.
He didn't take long to set his sights on WBO champion Joe Calzaghe. The fight probably will happen Nov.5 in Wales and will be aired on Showtime.
The undefeated Calzaghe (39-0, 31 KOs), a notoriously difficult negotiator, won't be able to use the big pond to keep Lacy away.
"Let's do it, Joe," Lacy said. "Where you at Joe? I'm coming to you Joe."
Lacy finished off Reid (38-5-1) in the seventh, almost knocking him down on several occasions until finally doing the deed late. A perfectly placed right hook froze Reid, who went limp and stumbled backward to the canvas.
He struggled to get up, barely beating the count, but the damage had been done.
"Never doubt my punching power," Lacy said. "Reid had never been knocked down in his career. That was my incentive."
Reid tried to manhandle Lacy early, hitting him while holding and throwing a punch at the back of Lacy's head when he was turned the other way after a clinch.
But Lacy kept his cool, stalked Reid and stuck him twice with left jabs that snapped his head back and set the tone.
Reid, known as a counter puncher, tried to time Lacy but wasn't willing to exchange, tying him up after every flurry.
Lacy knocked Reid to his knees with a shot to the cup in the third after a couple of nasty exchanges between the fighters. Though it was accidental, replays showed it hit right on the beltline.
Reid would later feign another low blow but was called on it by referee Jorge Alonso.
Reid had probably his best round to that point in the fourth, landing a number of right jabs, but Lacy closed with a furious 30 seconds and nearly put Reid down.
As the bell sounded, Reid indicated he wasn't hurt by sticking his tongue out at Lacy and walking toward his corner.
Four knockdowns later, including a questionable one by Lacy off a break, Reid still was thumbing his nose at Lacy's power.
"Of course, I wanted the fight to go on. I'm a fighter," Reid said. "I give credit to Lacy. I don't want to take anything away from him, but he's not as good as he's made out to be. I think the cleanest shot he hit me with was when the ref told us to break and I dropped my hands."
Reid left the Times Forum the way he entered it this week - complaining all the way.
He had whined all week about a lack of respect. He griped about his arrival, his accommodations, his food stipend and, most of all, promoter Gary Shaw's good-natured heckling, which he didn't take as such.
To top it off, Reid was presented with a T-shirt from Shaw that said "I visited the United States and all I got was knocked out by Lacy."
But if the shirt fits ...
"The referee was warning me the whole night that he was going to take a point away (for holding)," said Reid, who had deductions for holding and a head butt. "The ref wasn't very good, but nothing's been good for me since Day 1."