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Lacy, now with Golden Boy, set to return

Former super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy has signed a contract with Golden Boy Promotions after attending the Pacquiao-Barrera fight and meeting with Oscar and other officials. Now, he's ready to get back into the ring.

Joining the Ponce de Leon-Penalosa rematch, the 30-year old Lacy (22-1, 17 KO) will be featured on the December 8 Mayweather-Hatton undercard, likely facing former "Contender" star and fellow Calzaghe victim Peter Manfredo, Jr.

Lacy has been out of the ring since a majority decision win over Vitali Tsypko last December. Lacy suffered a severe shoulder injury in the fight, and had surgery after, delaying his comeback from the destructive loss to Calzaghe.

He says the shoulder feels strong, and that he's ready to get back into the hunt. A fight with Manfredo is one in which the Lacy of old would be heavily favored, but under the circumstances, it's kind of a wait-and-see. He'll have been out of action for a full year at that point, and Manfredo is no scrub. He's not an A-fighter, but he's a tough, quality opponent, and no easy comeback foe.

I like Jeff Lacy. Whatever his team's gameplan was for the Calzaghe fight (Joe never let us find out what it might be, exactly), it was a bad one. But Lacy is a strong, charismatic, exciting fighter. He's still young enough to have a terrific career and has the tools to be a world champion again. Whether or not he can do that is still up in the air.

Lacy-Manfredo is another nice addition to the Mayweather-Hatton card. Honestly, that's shaping up to be a hell of a nice pay-per-view, and Golden Boy should be commended for not giving us a one-fight show when they could have gotten our money that way, anyway.

A few other tidbits:

  • Isaac Hlatshwayo successfully defended his IBO welterweight title with a dominant unanimous decision over Australian challenger Robert Medley today, winning on scores of 119-108, 118-109 and 118-109. Medley was down in the fifth round, fighting in front of his fans in New South Wales. South African Hlatshwayo has been rumored to also be an addition to the Mayweather-Hatton show, but that would seem unlikely given the short timeframe.
  • John Ruiz will now be facing Otis Tisdale in Chicago on Saturday instead of Sergei Liakhovich. The 38-year old Tisdale has a record of 25-18-1, with losses to (in chronological order) Rob Calloway, Corrie Sanders, Dominick Guinn, Michael Moorer, Malik Scott, undefeated tomato can assassin Faruq Saleem, Nikolai Valuev, Alonzo Butler, and Elieser Castillo, among, you know, others. Dan Rafael's line about the fight: "The Ruiz fight will be the perfect opportunity to do so many things: take a nap, hit the restroom, check my e-mail, mingle with the Fight Freaks and maybe even grab a cool, refreshing beverage."

We'll be live tomorrow night for scoring and analysis and general discussion of the Diaz-Diaz unification bout, so join us then.