On his way up the middleweight mountain David Lemieux was thought to be a future 160-pound champion. Heading into 2011, Lemieux had won all 25 of his bouts with only iron-chinned Jason Naugler hearing the final bell.
However the Canadian punching machine hadn’t really fought anyone of significance and so was matched with grizzled veteran Marco Antonio Rubio. For six rounds Lemieux teed off on the tough Mexican, but when the stoppage didn’t come he quickly tired out before he was stunningly stopped in the seventh frame.
After several months on the sidelines the youngster returned, dropping a decision to former WBA 154-pound titlist Joachim Alcine. It looked a long way back at this point. However, the popular puncher deserves credit; he refocused and has won six consecutive bouts since.
On Saturday, Lemieux (31-2, 29 knockouts), who’s still only 25, returns to action as chief support to stablemate Adonis Stevenson’s RING/WBC light heavyweight title fight with Andrzej Fonfara. He takes on former title challenger Fernando Guerrero in what amounts to a crossroads bout for both fighters.
“He’s a good fighter; strong and moves well, knows how to box. His weakness I’ll show you all in the ring on May 24,” said Lemieux.
The Showtime-televised event is has a full supporting cast set to include Lemieux-Guerrero, an interesting looking junior middleweight scuffle between Jermell Charlo and Charlie Ohta, along with rising welterweight prospect Mikael Zewski, and light heavyweights Eleider Alvarez and Artur Beterbiev, who look to continue their development.
Anson Wainwright – On Saturday, you fight Fernando Guerrero. What are your thoughts on that fight?
David Lemieux – Fernando Guerrero is a great fighter but I’m in the best shape of my life. I will destroy anyone that is in front of me.
AW – What do you think of Guerrero as a fighter? What do you see in terms of strengths and weaknesses?
DL – He’s a good fighter; strong and moves well, knows how to box. His weakness I’ll show you all in the ring on May 24.ÒÇÇ
AW – This fight looks to be a step up fight for you, the sort of fight neither of you can lose if you both have title aspirations?
DL – It’s a great opportunity for me and I will not lose my chance. I will beat Guerrero.
AW – You’ve already come a long way winning six fights since losing back to back fights to Rubio and Alcine. How would you assess that?
DL – I’ve changed my entire life to make these major changes in order for me to be victorious in all of my future fights.
AW – Following those loses it looked a long way back for you. How have you been able to turn things around?
DL – With very important adjustments in my life, including, most importantly, the people around me, no more negative people are in my positive vision. This is why I’m surrounded by the best, Camille Estephan (his manager), being the Ace of Spades in my deck of cards.
AW – Did you ever contemplating retiring from boxing at that point?
DL – Never! I knew there were changes to be made and I did that. I never give up.
AW – You last fought six months ago, becoming the first man to stop tough Colombian Jose Miguel Torres. Looking back at that fight what are your thoughts?
DL – Torres is a great fighter. I have lots of respect for him. I haven’t seen many fighters who’d get up as many times as Torres did after all that punishment. I am proud of my hard work for it is the result in my success.
AW – Your power is clearly something that plays a big part in your game, what would you say about that?
DL – It is the Joker in my deck of cards for it can play tricks on you if you're not fully cautious, or it can play tricks on me also.
AW – If we look at the current top 10 middleweights as rated by THE RING magazine, could you share your thoughts on each fighter…
C – Sergio Martinez
1 – Gennady Golovkin
2 – Felix Sturm
3 – Daniel Geale
4 – Peter Quillin
5 – Matthew Macklin
6 – Martin Murray
7 – Marco Antonio Rubio
8 – Curtis Stevens
9 – Hassan N’dam N’Jikam
10 – Billy Joe Saunders
DL – I'm not one to talk about each fighter. All of those fighters are great and all of those fighters I can beat.
AW – How do you see Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto going?
DL – In the Martinez-Cotto fight I see Martinez winning without a doubt.
AW – Previously you’d have had your eye on fighting Martinez and Gennady Golovkin on HBO, however, the dynamics of that have changed with Adonis Stevenson fighting over at Showtime. Is it now Peter Quillin you’re shooting for?
DL – I have no one in particular at gun point but I’m ready to fight anyone with the right deals involved. Fighting for HBO or Showtime for me is an honor and I will always do my best to be spectacular.
AW – In closing do you have anything you’d like to say to Guerrero and also the middleweight division?
DL – No, I’ll show him what I have to do on May 24. I’m not much of a talker. To the middleweights, good luck.