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Lacy, Taylor to square off

In 2000, they were Olympic teammates.

In November, they will fight.

Advisor Jim Wilkes confirmed Thursday morning that St. Petersburg's Jeff Lacy will fight Jermain Taylor on Nov. 15, at a site to be determined.

Lacy's majority decision win over Epifanio Mendoza on Wednesday night paved the way for the matchup. A deal was in place before the fight, which Lacy (24-1, 17 KOs) struggled to win.

The Lacy-Taylor matchup has been talked about for years, when both fighters were on top of the boxing world: Lacy was the IBF super middleweight champion from 2004-06, and Taylor was middleweight champion from 2005-07.

Now it will be a crossroads fight for both men. Lacy lost his title to Joe Calzaghe and seriously injured his shoulder in his next fight. He has won all three fights since losing his title, but his performances have been uneven.

Taylor (27-2-1, 17 KOs) was knocked out by current middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik last year, then beaten in the rematch, and is looking to re-establish himself as a super middleweight.

Lacy and Taylor are friends and often sparred together as Olympians. Both sides say they got the better of it in those sessions.

According to Ring Magazine's rankings, Lacy is No. 5 among the 168-pounders; Taylor is No. 10.

John C. Cotey can be reached at johncotey@gmail.com, or (813) 909-4612.

Lacy, Taylor to square off 07/24/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 27, 2008 8:54pm]

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