David Lemieux predicts a ‘head-on collision’ vs. Gabriel Rosado
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David Lemieux’s popularity was at an all-time high among Canadian fans in 2011, rivaling that of then-IBF titleholder Lucian Bute.
An undefeated 22-year-old middleweight prospect at the time, Lemieux had gone 5-0 with four consecutive knockouts over the course of 2010 heading into a WBC title eliminator against hard-hitting Marco Antonio Rubio in April. The ESPN2-televised bout took place before Lemieux’s partisan fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
But Rubio shocked and stopped Lemieux in the seventh round, a loss that was followed by another in December of that year via split-decision to a 35-year-old former WBA junior middleweight titleholder named Joachime Alcine.
More than three years later, however, Lemieux (32-2, 30 knockouts) claims to be a brand new fighter, armed with a seven-bout winning streak that has included six knockouts heading into a Dec. 6 battle with two-time title challenger Gabriel Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“I’m nowhere near who I was when I fought Rubio or the controversial fight like Joachim Alcine, which I still, to this day, don’t believe that I really lost that fight. But still, there have been a lot of changes that have been made, and I believe, also, that everything happens for a reason. So I’m not taking away anything that happened in the past,” said Lemieux, now 25.
“I take what happened in a good way. Either it breaks you or it makes you better. So, it’s making me better now, and I have really have put those fights in the past. If I had to do it all over again, I have zero, zero concerns about fighting Rubio or Alcine. I was a different guy back then and now I’m a much more evolved man.”
Since the loss to Rubio, Lemieux’s team has undergone a complete overhaul, starting with his separation from longtime trainer, Russ Anber, after the loss to Rubio.
Mark Ramsey replaced Anber, and Lemieux is now managed by Camille Estephan, who has incorporated nutritional components that he had not used by Lemieux in the past.
“Management, trainer, and the nutrition, nutritionist, everything from A to Z has changed. I’ve had a new trainer since the Rubio fight, and Mark Ramsey has been doing tremendously well. Also, we added a physical conditioning trainer…who has been doing tremendous achievements with me, and it’s going great,” said Lemieux.
“There is also a personal physical conditioning trainer… There’s no fat on me. It’s all muscle. Everything that I eat, it’s all calculated… I’ve never had any of this in the past, and it has been an uprising in my career and brought me to a different level. Also, I’m thankful to God that I am with Camille Estephan, who is the best manager in the world, I believe.”
As evidence of his new found skills, Lemieux offers the result of his last fight in May when he blasted former title challenger Fernando Guerrero, dropping the southpaw four times en route to a sensational third-round stoppage.
“I know that people are starting to know slowly and surely that I have changed, also, especially if they saw my last fight against Fernando Guerrero,” said Lemieux.
“They saw that I was in tremendous shape, and that I was in the best physical shape of my life. I was stronger, and if you watch closely, you can see not just the punches, but a good boxer.”
Rosado, 28, is winless against unbeaten boxers over the course of his past four bouts, being bloodied and stopped in two title challenges, suffering a disputed split decision loss-turned-no-decision in a third bout, and losing by a wide unanimous decision in the fourth.
Still, Lemieux dismisses the notion that Rosado is a fighter whose skills have deteriorated to the point where he has been reduced to “opponent” status.
“I don’t care what everybody thinks about Gabriel Rosado. Whenever they give me a fighter I don’t care about whatever is said outside about him. I just take whatever they give me and we just start studying our subject. We’ve been studying Gabriel Rosado for a while now and we’ve been training to perfection to fight him. We’re not taking nothing lightly,” said Lemieux.
“Gabriel Rosado is a very good fighter, and he’s very durable. He’s been in there with a lot of tough guys, so I’m not really listening to anybody. Any fighter can be dangerous, and, for sure, he’s still young and he’s still fresh and he’s not beaten up, and he’s going to come to fight. He still has a lot of gas left, and he’s going to bring good stuff to the table. But once he meets me, it’s going to be a head-on collision.”
Video by Bill Emes