I witnessed one of the great technical fights of the last decade last night--the Welsh Joe Calzaghe against American Jeff Lacy. Lacy was favored, and I can't think of many people who would have bet that Calzaghe would demolish and pummel Lacy over the course of 12 brutal rounds. But he did. It was an amazing show of confidence, but more importantly of excellent footwork and great tactics. Calzaghe never allowed Lacy to get into the fight. Whenever they fought on the inside, Calzaghe would turn his shoulder into Lacy or tie-up--only fighting on the inside when he wanted to, and delivering a number of uppercuts that would have floored a lesser opponent than Lacy. Calzaghe also rarely backed straight out, delivering pin-point combinations and stepping to the side so that by the time Lacy was delivering his own punches, Calzaghe wasn't there to be hit by them. And this continued for the entire fight. Calzaghe had to be in supreme shape, because just the footwork and the energy used punching in bunches would have worn out a lot of boxers--whether in front of an opponent or shadowboxing in the gym.
My jaw dropped from about the middle of the first round when I realized what I was seeing and stayed that way through the twelfth. Even Ann, who is not the biggest fan of boxing, was getting into it.
Anyway, so this morning I checked out Calzaghe's official website. Here's what was up there right before the fight started:
Joe Calzaghe, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Boxing at Champion University, invites all to attend his upcoming fistic lecture on the noble art of self-defense to be held at the Manchester Evening News Arena on Saturday, March 4th. Professor Calzaghe will be joined by second year student Jeff Lacy, upon whom the professor will apply his patented lightning fast southpaw technique. Those interested in the come forward roundhouse style of attack and it's resulting negative consequences will undoubtedly be interested in observing student Lacy, who will ably demonstrate all the stages of dismantlement, including collapse.
Gotta love the Europeans. You'd never see anything like that on a US boxer's website. LOL!
Anyway, this one ranked up there with such classic beat-downs as Barrera vs Prince Hasim and the old sly fox Bernard Hopkins vs Felix Trinidad.
Sometimes a one-sided fight can be incredibly entertaining because you're watching a superior strategic and tactical performance. This was one of those cases.