Fighting Lacy was a dream I couldn’t resist

Jeff Lacy, left, and Tony Oakey have signed a deal to fight on October 1
Jeff Lacy, left, and Tony Oakey have signed a deal to fight on October 1
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Tony Oakey dismissed concerns over his comeback and insisted: It was too good to ignore.

The Leigh Park Warrior has announced he is coming out of retirement to face American star Jeff Lacy.

It’s a return to the ring after a six-year absence for the 40-year-old.

The contracts have been signed on a deal to meet former world champ Lacy in Bristol on October 1.

The Action Indoor Sports Centre will host the light-heavyweight contest – the same division Oakey campaigned at throughout his career.

Oakey admitted he understands those who doubt whether he should make a ring return.

But he will train full-time to prepare for a clash he believes is bigger than any he’s previously had.

Oakey said: ‘Put yourself in my shoes.

‘I’m an ex-world champion who’s been offered to fight a world champion and huge name from America in front of thousands of people.

‘I’ve got four months to get ready for a 10-round title fight and two sponsors – Premiership Paving and TM Carpentry & Building Solutions – to allow me to train full-time.

‘How can I say no?

‘Jeff was seen as a mini Mike Tyson. He stopped Robin Reid and boxed Roy Jones Jr and Joe Calzaghe. It’s a dream – the biggest fight I’ve had.

‘He’s coming over to do a documentary and meet Joe Calzaghe again.

‘I know what they are thinking but I’m there to put a spanner in the works and make sure there’s no happy ending for him.’

Oakey stated he sees the Lacy clash as a one-off match-up before hanging up his gloves once again.

Lacy had a fearsome reputation in the fight game until suffering defeat to Calzaghe in 2006.

He is now 39, however, and hasn’t boxed in 18 months.

Although, he was still campaigning at a high level.

Oakey believes he will step into the ring in tip-top shape – and will need to.

He said: ‘I’m going in there as fit as I possibly can. It can’t be any other way.

‘After this, I will hang my gloves up, put my gumshield in the drawer and do other things for charity.

‘My fitness and sharpness is there. I 
understand the negatives but I’m fighting someone the same age as me.

‘So whatever faults I’ve got, it’s the same for him.

‘I’ve always stayed in shape and it’s an amazing opportunity.’

The Lacy fight was mooted last year but never materialised.

This fight is being put together by different organisers, however, and Oakey is certain it will take place.

He said: ‘The contracts are signed. It’s happening.

‘There was a fiasco last year and it was out of my hands but this wasn’t announced until the contracts were signed. It’s a real community effort. Everyone is behind me.’