Just another perfectly planned evening at the Playboy mansion. Perfect weather, a brilliant setting, playmates mingling with celebrities ranging from James Caan and Don Adams to Julius Erving and Steve Lavin. Even Kato Kaelin was on hand.
Seated ringside for Playboy's annual fight show Tuesday was Hugh Hefner, wearing his trademark silk pajama, surrounded by six playmates.
On cue, the evening's lead performer, super middleweight Jeff Lacy, entered the ring to face Richard Grant. The script seemed obvious. Lacy (15-0, 12 knockouts) had recorded all 12 of those knockouts within three rounds. Grant (14-10, 2) had been knocked out in the third round of his previous fight.
Sure enough, in the first round, Lacy, nicknamed "Left Hook," showed why, connecting on a solid one that sent Grant down.
Time to party?
Not quite. Twelve rounds later, Grant, playing the role of party pooper, was still there, gamely swinging away despite the fact his chance for victory had long since disappeared.
Having also knocked Grant down in the 11th round, Lacy won easily on all three judges' scorecards. Jack Reiss had it 119-109, Ralph McKnight 118-108, Vince Delgado 117-109. With the victory, Lacy added the North American Boxing Assn. 168-pound title to the World Boxing Council Continental Americas and United States Boxing Assn. championships he already held.
But Lacy, blood trickling from a cut over his left eye, the result of a seventh-round head-butt, conceded he had been in a fight.
"This was a guy who could take some shots," Lacy said. "He's a survivor. I'm not overwhelmed by the fact he was able to go the distance. I'm overwhelmed by the fact I was able to go 12 strong rounds."
Was Lacy distracted at all by the surroundings?
"I didn't even recognize," he said, "that I was at the Playboy mansion."
Former 130-pound champions Diego Corrales (37-1, 31) and Joel Casamayor (29-1, 18) will fight in the semi-main event Oct.. 4 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center. Former four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will face James Toney in the main event.