The undercard for the June 21 match-up between Anatoliy “The Gladiator” Dudchenko (19-2, 13 KOs) and Nadjib Mohammedi (34-3, 20 KOs) features an eight-round light heavyweight fight between undefeated prospect Sullivan Barrera (11-0, 6 KOs) and former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jeff Lacy (26-4, 18 KOs).
According to Main Events’ matchmaker, Jolene Mizzone, “This is a very important fight for both fighters in a very hot division. I went through about eight different opponents for Barrera that accepted the fight then backed out. Jeff reached out to me and asked for the fight. Barrera took about five minutes to accept the fight. Here you have two guys who really want to fight each other and have something to prove. Jeff was scheduled to fight about four times in the last year or so but all of the fights fell apart. This is an opportunity for both guys to prove they belong in the light heavyweight mix.”
Barrera, 32, is coming off an impressive six-round unanimous decision victory over Larry Pryor at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA on April 4. This was Barrera’s first victory since signing with Main Events earlier this year. This will be the first big test of Barrera’s undefeated career. He said, “I am excited and happy that I was finally able to get an opponent for June 21. I want to continue to move my career forward and I am ready to fight.” When asked about fighting Lacy, Sullivan said, “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.”
“I would like to thank Main Events for the opportunity to once again showcase Sullivan. We are confident and ready to show the world that we can compete with the top guys in the light heavyweight division. We look forward to the victory June 21,” said Barrera’s co-manager Luis Molina. His other co-manager, Egis Klimas added, “This will be his toughest fight to date but a win over Lacy would propel Sullivan to the next level in the light heavyweight division. We think he is up to that challenge.”
Jeff Lacy, 37, is a seasoned veteran who is coming off a third-round TKO victory over Martin Verdin on November 30, 2013 in Baton Rouge, LA. Lacy began his pro career with Main Events in 2001 after competing as a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. He fought under the Main Events banner until mid-2002. In the ensuing years, he remained undefeated and held the IBF Super Middleweight Title from 2004-2006, until suffering his first pro defeat to Joe Calzaghe. After taking some time off following a string of losses at super middleweight, Lacy is looking to make in impression as a light heavyweight. Lacy said, “I’m really looking forward to working with Main Events again and this match-up with Barrera really excites me. 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.”
Roger Bloodworth, who trained Lacy for much of his career and has worked with heavyweight Tomasz “Goral” Adamek for the last several years, will work Lacy’s corner on June 21. He said, “I don’t know too much about Barrera. I watched one tape on him. I think he is a little bit taller than Jeff so I think this is a good fight for Jeff to see where he is at after his long lay-off.”
Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva said, “I always enjoy when one of our past fighters comes back, even if it’s just for one fight. 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.”