I have to admit right from the get-go: Hook City was a lot more fun than I expected. It was far from perfect (more on that later), but the fights themselves were largely entertaining, thanks in good part to headliner and promoter Roy “Captain Hook” Jones, Jr., who took a lot of cheap shots from this observer over his pirate costume and “Hook City” gimmick but delivered a lot more than I expected in the ring.
While Lacy is clearly past his prime, and the ultimate quality of his prime could be questioned to begin with, he still represented a reasonable opponent and potentially difficult matchup for the 40-year-old former pound-for-pound great. As it played out, Lacy was the ideal opponent to make Roy look as close to the prime Roy Jones as he has since beating John Ruiz for the heavyweight title in 2003. After an entertaining first round featuring a lot of back-and-forth action, Jones began to take over the fight starting in the second round with his overwhelming hand speed and combinations. Lacy looked a lot more aggressive than he has in recent fights and spent much of the night with his forehead in Jones’s chest but he could not land anything effective. Jones, meanwhile, seemingly could not miss as the fight wore on. He seemed invigorated for the fight as he landed triple and quadrouple hooks like his consecutive knockout losses had never happened.
Jones did a lot of showboating during the fight, talking to fans at ringside and the ringside announcers even as he peppered Lacy with hooks and avoided Lacy’s counterattack. The result was inevitable pretty early in the fight but Lacy showed good heart to keep coming forward for ten rounds, though he was overwhelmingly ineffective. His corner was wise to stop the fight when they did, as Lacy was absorbing tremendous damage at that point and his eyes were bloody slits.
The big question is: what does it all mean? Jones looked fantastic against Lacy, and although there are serious reasons to question how good an opponent Lacy was, Jones still became the first fighter to stop him inside the distance, which should count for something. Also, Jones’s hand speed was no illusion. When he lets his hands go, he is still as fast as almost anybody in boxing, and certainly as fast as anybody around the light heavyweight division. A fight against Danny Green, who fought on the undercard and looked impressive in a knockout win, is almost certain to happen in Australia, presumably at cruiserweight, and I’d probably be willing to shell out another $34.95 to check it out. Which means that Hook City was an absolute success, surprisingly enough, because I never thought I’d say that before the night was over.
Notes From Bolivian
I was probably overly generous in the preceding paragraphs because I enjoyed Jones’s retro performance so much, but the endless delay leading up the the fight was inexcusable. Danny Green’s fight was over at roughly 10:57 PM, EST. Jeff Lacy made his ring walk at 11:39, more than 40 minutes later, because of a disagreement over the gloves Lacy would wear to the ring. The Mississippi State Boxing Commission said that he needed wear Grant gloves because Jones was wearing Grant and fighters in Mississippi must apparently wear the same gloves. Lacy held out to wear Everlast. Why this wasn’t addressed until the fighters were supposed to walk to the ring, I couldn’t tell you. It definitely put a damper on what was otherwise a pretty decent show. Although the delay did let Lacy set the record for “longest plank walk”… Green was very entertaining and his hands looked extremely heavy against Dominguez. It could be a dangerous fight for Roy, but I think that the Roy Jones who showed up for Hook City can outbox a straightforward fighter like Green. Like I said, however, it could be entertaining… BJ Flores looked good against Epifanio Mendoza before an arm injury forced Mendoza to quit, but when will Flores step up in competition? Mendoza weighed 30 pounds less for his previous fight and had never fought above 175 lbs… Jason Litzau looked good blowing out Verquan Kimbrough. Litzau isn’t the best fighter in the world, but he’s fun to watch.