A solid featherweight who has fought as high as junior welterweight, Lacey, 6-1-3 (win, loss, draw) going into Thursday’s nationally televised bout, was expected to test his fellow 23-year-old but came a cropper after testing the dynamite-punching Dubliner’s power.
Dunne had Lacey down from a left hook and straight right a minute and 12 seconds into the round, after the Alabama native had come out strongly.
Lacey was up at six but still shaken. And with six KOs from his previous seven victories on his ledger, Dunne wasn’t about to let his man off the hook. A well-placed left to the ribs promptly dispatched Lacey to the canvas again where he was counted out by referee Tim Wheeler at 1:51 of the stanza.
The relative ease with which he chalked up his eighth straight victory (7 KOs) startled even the undefeated Los Angeles-based prospect.
“I really was surprised,” Dunne said later. “He was a good opponent and had six wins. It was a good performance and a good way to start my break.”
Lacey’s only loss before last Thursday was a first-round stoppage in April 2001 to highly touted 2000 Olympian Francisco Bojado. That fight was at 140 pounds (junior welterweight).
He had been on a roll after that and looked like testing Dunne’s worth last week when he came out fighting at the Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort.
Lacey landed the first two punches of the bout, a quick left jab and straight right, before Dunne got his own jab working.
“He did come to fight, but once I hit him that was it,” Dunne said. “Then the left hook and right hand shook him up.”
On the killer hook that ended the contest and left Lacey doubled up in pain for long minutes, Dunne said: “It was a perfect shot. I got him on the floating rib — the last two ribs, which are not connected to anything.”
Last week’s win on the Showtime cable network’s “Shobox: The New Generation” series was the former Irish amateur star’s sixth this year since resuming his career following a health scare.
Dunne returns from vacation, whose highlight will be serving as the best man at the wedding of his elder brother, William, in Cyprus next month, in September.
He said that depending on his conditioning then, he could be back in the ring in October.