Photo by Tom Hogan / Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions
David Lemieux, the heavy-handed Montreal resident who gloves up (date and place TBD) against Cameroonian Hassan N’Dam, raised eyebrows in a good way when he showed pop galore and more boxing skills than naysayers would have thought in a 10th round stoppage win over Gabriel Rosado on Dec. 6.
With his heavy hands and stated desire to concuss foes, not to mention pleasantly symmetrical features, the hitter who turned pro in 2007 elevated his stature in the eyes of fans and TV-types. He was immediately tossed into the mix as a potential “next” for Gennady Golovkin, arguably, the top dog at 160, and that status hasn’t gone anywhere.
But first things first; Lemieux is matched tough in his forthcoming scrap against N’Dam, a guy who can box smartly, bang and has shown that even when knocked down, his recuperative skills make him a tough out.
The IBF 160-pound belt, vacated when it became clear Jermain Taylor was otherwise detained, will be up for grabs when Lemieux and N’Dam collide.
“N’Dam is a very solid fighter,” Lemieux (33-2, 31 knockouts), 26, told me. “He’s at the elite level, a very good boxer, good power and strength. I will make sure I’m very well prepared. This guy has everything better than average. He’s a serious dude.”
Oh, but so is Lemieux. “I’m not going to make life easy for N’Dam,” he continued. “I’m going to bring him to hell, show him what it’s like to be in hell.”
N’Dam’s manager, the Irish dealmaker Gary Hyde, who also handles pound-for-pound ace Guillermo Rigondeaux, didn’t seem to quake with fear when apprised of that comment. “That’s great and we will leave him there when Hassan beats the crap out of him,” Hyde responded.
Lemieux said he will stay at home base, not decamp to warmer climes for training. N’Dam (31-1, 18 KOs), 31, Hyde told me, has spent the last three weeks in Moscow, sparring with the Chudinov brothers, middleweight Dmitry and super middle Fedor. “Once the venue and deal is in place, Hassan will go to LA and continue his camp there.”
Lemieux knows what we know: that Hassan’s chin was questioned when Peter Quillin sent him to the mat six times en route to a unanimous decision loss in 2012 in Brooklyn (N’Dam was the WBO interim titlist elevated to full status in this bout). But his heart cannot be questioned; after all, he beat the count on every occasion. “I don’t compare myself to other fighters,” Lemieux told me. “He did get back up but he won’t get back up with me like he did with Quillin. My power is different; my work ethic is different. I’m ready to go to war.”
Prep will be on hold when Lemieux turns on HBO and watches Golovkin get it on with Martin Murray tomorrow (Saturday, 5:45 p.m. ET). “I will be sure to check him out, how he does against Murray,” Lemieux said. “It should be a good fight.” I asked whether he will watch as a fan or as a scout. “A fight with me and Golovkin is what the fans want. It’s going to happen sooner or later. I’m sure Golovkin won’t back up and I’m not going to back up. It’s two bulls; it will be fireworks as expected. But first, I have other plans, to take care of business against N’Dam.”
Michael Woods is a Brooklyn-based writer who is editor of TheSweetScience.com. Follow him on Twitter.