David Lemieux, Vergil Ortiz off Canelo-Rocky undercard
The weigh-in for Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding revealed some bad news for the undercard of the Mexican star’s first fight in New York City and on the DAZN streaming platform.
Middleweight contender David Lemieux, who was scheduled to face Tureano Johnson in one of the more anticipated supporting bouts on Saturday’s Golden Boy/Matchroom Boxing promotion at Madison Square Garden, had to withdraw from the card due to severe dehydration. Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs), who was on a short list to face Alvarez in May if he prevailed against Johnson, had to be hospitalized on Friday morning due to the strain and struggle to make the 160-pound middleweight limit.
“The safety of our fighters is always of the highest concern to us,” Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions, stated in a press release. “Though we understand that David Lemieux is in stable condition, we must always execute precaution when dealing with the health of our fighters, especially since we know the consequence of improperly cutting weight. That said, we have spoken with our partners at Eye of The Tiger Management and have cancelled this fight. We wish Lemieux the very best and know that he will come back stronger than ever.”
Camille Estephan, President of Eye of The Tiger Management, which manages Lemieux and promotes the puncher in Canada, provided more details.
“Due to health concerns, David Lemieux was taken to the hospital for evaluation,” Estephan stated in a press release from Golden Boy. “He was considerably weakened by the process of making weight. There were concerns regarding his vital signs and was immediately taken to the hospital to be in the hands of medical staff. Tests are being administered to ensure his safety and health as well as IV treatment for re-hydration. He is currently kept in the hospital hence we have taken the decision to cancel his bout.”
The 29-year-old Montreal native has struggled to make weight before. This time the difficulty may have cost him the biggest opportunity of his career.
Vergil Ortiz (11-0, 11 KOs), a power-punching junior welterweight from Texas and one of the best prospects in the game, was also scratched from the deep undercard due to a New York state rule that does not allow fighters who have had laser eye surgery to compete.
“The New York State Athletic Commission did not allow Vergil Ortiz Jr. to fight due to a rule preventing fighters who have had Lasik eye surgery from fighting,” it was stated in the Golden boy press release. “Ortiz Jr. had Lasik eye surgery in early October and thus will not be able to fight.”
News of Ortiz and Lemieux falling off the show is a buzz kill to hardcore fans because Lemieux was in tough and the 20-year-old boxer-puncher is gaining a lot of attention.
However, the good news is that main event fighters had no trouble making weight and the undercard is still packed with quality fighters and bouts. Fielding, who is attempting to make his first defense of the WBA’s secondary super middleweight title, weighed in at 167.6 pounds. Alvarez weighed in at 167.4, the heaviest of his career. However, the 28-year-old Guadalajara native looked muscular and comfortable at the weight.
The Tevin Farmer-Francisco Fonseca IBF junior lightweight bout has been elevated to chief support. Farmer weighed in at 130, and Fonseca was just under the division limit. Other bouts involving women’s lightweight champ Katie Taylor, former 154-pound beltholder Sadam Ali, hot prospect Ryan Garcia, 130-pound contender Lamont Roach Jr., unbeaten Australian super middleweight Bilal Akkawy and 140-pound threat Yves Uylsse are a go for Saturday night.