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Lacy wants challenge

The St. Petersburg 168-pounder, who won his first two bouts easily, fights tonight.


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 19, 2001

Jeff Lacy wouldn't mind if his third professional boxing match lasts longer than the first two combined -- at least into the last minutes of the second round.

The 168-pounder from St. Petersburg, who dispatched Jerald Lowe in two minutes in February and Tom Attardo in 1:41 in March, faces Tony Pope (14-7) of Norfolk, Va., tonight at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. The scheduled six-rounder to be televised at 10 p.m. on Showtime is on the undercard of the 12-round main event between Charles Brewer and Antwun Echols for the vacant North American Boxing Association 168-pound title.

"I'd love to go six rounds, 12 rounds, however long my fights are scheduled for," said Lacy, 23, a 1996 Gibbs High School graduate whose 209-12 amateur career ended with a loss in his third match at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. "I'm not looking to have a knockout in every one of my fights. I know people would like to see that, but I don't think it's always going to happen."

He said he's prepared to go six rounds. "I trained for eight in (the high altitude of) Big Bear (Calif.) And when you're in Big Bear, eight rounds is like 12."

Lacy said he has the patience to build a record and learn the finer points of boxing before fighting for a belt. "It's all about grooming a fighter, getting the experience for that title shot," he said. "The guys that hold the titles, they went through the same thing; that's why they're holding the titles. It takes time to get the same schooling they did to be in that position. ...

"Me fighting on this Charles Brewer-Antwun Echols card, my being the same weight class as those guys, I'm very happy that Showtime could get us all together and showcase me with these guys. It's going to tell the future."

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