St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Two world champs lined up within Lacy's first 4 bouts

By JOHN ROMANO

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 2000


SYDNEY, Australia -- The day before the Olympic boxing draw was announced, Jeff Lacy said he had little interest in where he landed in the bracket. He would come across the best, he said, sooner or later.

Turns out, it will be sooner.

The draw was announced late Wednesday evening and the St. Petersburg boxer landed in the stronger half of the bracket.

If he gets past his first two bouts, Lacy could face reigning world champion Utkirbek Haydarov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals, then 1997 world champion Zsolt Erdei of Hungary in the semifinals.

The bottom half of the draw appears to be much weaker, with Cuba's Jorge Gutierrez as the leading contender. Gutierrez replaces Cuba's Ariel Hernandez, the two-time defending Olympic champion.

The way the bracket breaks down, Lacy could conceivably face the three biggest names in the middleweight class if he reaches the gold-medal bout.

Lacy drew Brazil's Cleiton Conceicao in the first bout.

"I don't think Jeff's draw in the first bout is too tough ... it's not a guy you know is going to be difficult," USA Boxing coach Tom Mustin said. "Usually people will have the jitters and will not be real comfortable in that first bout. So if we can get past that, get him comfortable, maybe we can get him on a roll.

"But I'm not looking past the first bout for him or anyone else."

The brackets are established by a random draw with no emphasis on world rankings coming into the Olympics.

"I don't want to pay attention to how my weight class is set," Lacy said before the draw. "If I spend too much time worrying about one opponent, I might get caught by surprise. My plan is to just stay in shape and do my thing when it's my time to get in the ring."

The most highly anticipated bout of the Olympics could arrive long before the gold medal round.

Cuba's Felix Savon and American Michael Bennett would meet in the quarterfinals of the heavyweight class if both get past the first round. Bennett is the reigning world champion and Savon is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. They did not meet in last year's World Championships because Savon withdrew in protest over a decision that went against a Cuban boxer in a lower weight class.

Mustin said Bennett and other U.S. boxers have been showing signs of pressure, and the heavyweight draw will not help.

"If I had my druthers, Michael would have had a chance to get a few more bouts under his belt, but it didn't happen that way," Mustin said. "Hopefully he'll get past his first bout and we'll have time to study Savon's tapes."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk
  • A year later, hard to believe he's really gone
  • Unintended controversy
  • Not just playingout string
  • Bucs set out on treacherous four-week trip
  • Rays let Angels escape
  • Honeychurch rolls to her second title
  • Captain's corner
  • Heat signs MacLean, Fuller
  • Lecavalier will sit out 2 preseason games
  • Nichol plays onafter 17 others cut
  • N.Y. high school gets DiMaggio memorabilia
  • Bulldogs forced to promote entire JV team
  • Restrictor-plates edict has teams scrambling to adjust
  • Vaughn won't needsurgery on shoulder
  • NASCAR, Loudon police devise fatal-crash plan
  • Oklahoma's Stoops rewarded with a contract extension
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Looking to avoid UT win
  • Ask Spurrier
  • Two world champs lined up within Lacy's first 4 bouts
  • U.S. soccer finds much to like in tie
  • Bucs seek to bury bad mojo at dome
  • Barber second straight Buc to win NFC defensive honor
  • Bucs seek to bury bad mojo at dome
  • Aikman practices, may return Monday night
  • Jags back fumbles away job, gets cut
  • Colombia weighs on Valderrama
  • Hudson swim teams win battle with Pasco
  • Tiger boys just want to have fun ... and win
  • Hot starts put spice back into big rivalry
  • Tourney to test area's top teams
  • Stage now set for long rivalry
  • Largo freshman no longer running scared
  • Big dreams support minitours
  • After all the wins, Tiger still amazes


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts