Portsmouth legend takes on winner-takes-all challenge with American star

Tony Oakey's set for a return to the ring against American star Jeff Lacy on December 15. Picture: Sarah Standing.
Tony Oakey's set for a return to the ring against American star Jeff Lacy on December 15. Picture: Sarah Standing.
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Tony Oakey has accepted Jeff Lacy's winner-takes-all challenge ahead of their Portsmouth showdown.

The Leigh Park Warrior has been tempted back into the ring to take on the American star at the Mountbatten Centre on December 15.

And the clash with the feared former world champion and Olympic medallist has developed into a grudge match, with a war of words flying back and forth across the Atlantic in the countdown to battle.

The ill feeling has stemmed from a previous contest between the pair two years ago, which Oakey won after Lacy quit on his stool in the fifth round with a torn bicep injury.

Lacy blames his performance on the problem, with Portsmouth's decorated champion pointing to his dominance before the bout was called off.

That has fanned the flames for what will be an eagerly-contested showdown between the two veterans on Oakey's home turf.

And the former WBU, British, Commonwealth and Prizefighter champ is happy to see the victor take all the purse money.

Oakey said: 'I wouldn't have come out of retirement for any contest, but this is two world champions going at it in Portsmouth.

'And, to be honest, after all the rubbish he's been coming out with I just want to shut his mouth once and for all.

'He's blaming injury for what happened before, which overlooks the fact I bashed him up for five rounds.

'Now he wants it to be winner takes all. He's put it to me, not the other way around.

'I'm not horrible. Christmas is around the corner and I wouldn't want to see him get on the plane skint.

'He seems adamant, though, and if that's what he wants I'm more than happy to accept it.'

The Lacy contest will see Oakey boxing in Portsmouth competitively for the first time since his professional career came to a close in 2010.

With tickets selling well, the evening is sure to stir memories of some raucous and glorious nights at the Mountbatten Centre in the 42-year-old's pro career.

And Oakey believes he can recapture the essence of those famous battles one more time.

He added: 'I don't think the city has ever seen two people who've achieved what we have in the ring before.

'I'm probably in better shape now than I was in my career. I'm looking after myself a lot better.

'He's saying he's got himself in brilliant shape, too. Good, because I don't want him coming up with more excuses.

'It's going to be a night to remember. Jeff Lacy just needs to get on the plane and he'll see I'm ready for him.'   

Tickets are still available for Oakey's meeting with Lacy at the Mountbatten Centre on December 15. Tickets are priced £25, £35, £50 and ringside table £1,000 (table of 10 with meal and table service). Contact 07423 542491 or Robert Craddock on Facebook for details.