Sullivan Barrera-Jeff Lacy Set For June 21 Card

By Jake Donovan

Thirteen years after turning pro under the Main Events promotional banner, Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy returns home, even if only for a night. 

The former super middleweight champ returns to the ring on June 21, facing unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Sullivan Barrera. The bout takes place at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. In the main event – which airs live on NBC Sports Network - Anatoliy Dudchenko faces Nadjib Mohammedi in a light heavyweight title eliminator, with the winner to become the mandatory challenger to Bernard Hopkins. 

"I always enjoy when one of our past fighters comes back, even if it's just for one fight,” commented promoter Kathy Duva, who signed Lacy along with several other members of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Boxing team. “Our split with Jeff was acrimonious but it's great that we can work together again now.  

“The boxing business has always been one where you fight like dogs one day and turn around to work together the next. It's one of the things I love about it. Because of that, Sullivan is getting a big opportunity to make a name for himself and I can't wait to see how the fight plays out."

Lacy made his pro debut in 2001, lasting with Main Events until the company imploded and branched into three separate entities. The internal split led to Lacy signing with Gary Shaw Productions, citing his loyalty to Shaw as the reason he signed with Main Events following his Olympic run. 

In less than four years, Lacy (26-4, 18KO) was the first of the Class of 2000 to win a major title, knocking out Syd Vanderpool to capture a 168 lb. belt in Oct. ’04. His reign was thrilling but came to a crashing halt when he was manhandled by Joe Calzaghe in March ’06, fighting overseas in the United Kingdom. 

His career never fully recovered, hovering around the Top 10 for the next few years but coming up short whenever he stepped up. Losses to Jermain Taylor (Nov. ’08) and Roy Jones Jr. (Aug. ’09) accentuated his struggles to return to the championship level before stepping away from the game in 2010. 

The motivation to retire was in part to the emotional stress endured following the tragic death of his brother, Hydra Lacy Jr. who was shot and killed during a violent standoff with police in Jan. ’11. 

Like most boxers, Lacy struggled to shake the urge to stay retired, making his comeback last November. A tune-up win in Louisiana barely registered on the radar, but his return on June 21 serves as a legitimate news generator. 

I'm really looking forward to working with Main Events again and this match-up with Barrera really excites me,” Lacy insists. “I am happy to return back to the ring after so many of the fights that I've had that were scheduled only to fall apart.”

For his part, Barrera (11-0, 6KO) is met with his biggest challenge and most notable opponent to date. The 32-year old Cuban, now living in Miami, has been hampered by inactivity, but is coming off of a six-round points win over Larry Pryor this April. 

“I am excited and happy that I was finally able to get an opponent for June 21,” Barrera said of his placement on the card. I want to continue to move my career forward and I am ready to fight." 

Anxious to advance beyond the prospect level, Barrera is ready for the newfound challenge. 

“My game plan hasn't changed.  I have seen Lacy fight before and, even though he was inactive for a while, he is still a fighter and when he gets in the ring he is going to try to win. We have a game plan put together and I am ready to fight.” 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of AmericaTwitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by nycsmooth on 06-07-2014

Lacy is totally shot, & is not even a stepping stone...he's broke & like most, it's all he knows...

Comment by damit305 on 06-06-2014

An impressive win vs an older Lacy can at least give Barrera some recognition. Sullivan doesn't do it for me though. A few Cuban heavies with some potential are Luis Ortiz and Mike Perez with Yunier Dorticos ahead of the…

Comment by Ravens Fan on 06-06-2014

When NBC starting showing boxing I got all excited and hoped it would take boxing back to the good old days of boxing on Saturday afternoons on free TV. With that said I have to ask why is NBC showing…

Comment by commonsense81 on 06-06-2014

until calzage ate his lunch!!! I remember it like it was yesterday the guy from wales pulled out of the fight from hand issues and every body thought he was scared. he put on a clinic afterwards, that was his…

Comment by don larryx on 06-06-2014

Seems like yesterday like yesterday Lacy was the man at 168 and called the "mini tyson"

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Joshua's Fight Will Land on Showtime - Price, Jennings or Molina Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Could Air on CBS in Prime Time George Foreman: Joshua Could Be Become an All-Time Great Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown Carl Frampton: I'll Beat Leo Santa Cruz Even More Convincingly! Jack: DeGale is Very Tough, I’ll Win and Be Best at 168 Arthur Abraham Out Of Martin Murray Rematch In Monte Carlo Craig Cunningham Heading To 154 After Shocker Over Ogogo Photos: Juanma Grinds Hard For Wilfredo Vazquez Grudge Fight Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey Set, Heading To Russia Broner vs. Granados on Feb. 11, Thurman vs. Garcia on March 4 Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni Lands on Anthony Joshua Card Claressa Shields Pro Debut Finalized For Kovalev vs. Ward PPV Payano Eyes December Return in Quest For Second Title Reign Jason Sosa Embraces Smith Defense, Eyes Three Fights in 2017 Arum Apologizes To King For Post-Presidential Debate Vegas Spat Felix Verdejo is Very Eager To Get His Hands on Terry Flanagan Bob Arum on The Possibility of Miguel Cotto vs. Timothy Bradley Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters Bryant Jennings Ready To Step In, Face Anthony Joshua on 12/10 Dereck Chisora: Dillian Whyte is Nothing - I Will Stop Him! Vernon Forrest - Third Man Has Been Convicted in His Murder Pacquiao Feels Brunt of Long Flight, Takes Off From Training Marquez: If Canelo Trades With Golovkin - He's Committing Suicide! Lucas Browne Finds Himself in Limbo After Klitschko's Injury Andre Ward Aims To Set The Record Straight With Sergey Kovalev Video: Joe Smith Jr. Very Pumped To Face Bernard Hopkins Haye Explains Why Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina is Next - Not Price Marrero vs. Zambrano Talks Progress As Purse Bid Looms Klitschko's Manager Says Unfinished Contract Led To 2017 Jump Video: Oscar De La Hoya on Schaefer's Return, Hopkins, More Photos: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith Jr. - Face To Face at Presser Anthony Mundine, Danny Green Rematch Set For February 3 Video: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith - Go Face To Face Video: Bernard Hopkins Breaks Down Joe Smith Showdown Arum on Parker vs. Ruiz Possibly Heading To The United States Joshua-Klitschko Eyed For March, April at Principality Stadium Vanes Martirosyan: I’m Not Happy With Al Haymon, My Promoter Josh Hernandez Inks Promotional With Warriors Boxing

Latest Active Forum Threads