When David Lemieux fought Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, he was a rising star as a feared knockout artist. The two were Pay-Per-View virgins and the pressure of selling out the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, for two non-New Yorkers was ever-present.
They accomplished that goal generating a live gate of $2 million, supported by rabid Kazakh fans now living in New York City and French Canadiens that flew in to see their countryman defend his IBF Middleweight title and hopefully dethrone the Golovkin train.
Unfortunately, the bout was halted in the eighth round after a badly staggering Lemieux was a concern for the referee. He had been dropped earlier in the fifth round and all roads led to GGG being labeled the best Middleweight in the division.
David Lemieux vs Billy Joe Saunders FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE David Lemieux vs Billy Joe Saunders FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE David Lemieux vs Billy Joe Saunders FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE David Lemieux vs Billy Joe Saunders FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE
That was in 2015. Fast-forward to today and Lemieux has racked up four wins in a row, with two of them being stoppages over Glen Tapia and a vicious third-round KO over Curtis Stevens.
Across the pond in the United Kingdom, WBO Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has been sitting back and watching the action. After defeating Andy Lee via majority decision to capture his title in late 2015, Saunders has defended it twice, showing his dominance most recently against fellow GGG victim, Wille Monroe, Jr., this year.
As the sole person that stands between Golovkin becoming the undisputed middleweight champion of the world, Saunders watched how GGG and Canelo battled to a highly contested draw and decided to take what he felt was the path of least resistance and announced his fight against David Lemieux for his title this weekend.
If you think his confidence is a little premature against a man who can literally turn his lights off, Saunders agreed to fight in Lemieux’s backyard of Montreal, live on HBO.
David Lemieux Highlights Knockouts David Lemieux vs Curtis Stevens
“David has to come from round one and try to knock me out,” said Lemieux at yesterday’s final press conference. “Because when he’s eating fresh air, he’s very injury prone. But what I don’t want from David’s team are excuses.
“David is a good fighter, he’s mixed it with Golovkin at a very elite level. But some boxers are not quite enough to be at that elite level. And David, you’re not quite good enough. Am I good enough? We’ll soon see. In my own mind, I know I can deal with it, and then with Golovkin or Canelo, we’ll see where I really am.”
For Lemieux, who currently holds a minor Middleweight title, he has everything to gain as the winner is the immediate target for the winner of GGG vs. Canelo 2. For Lemieux, either would give him a huge payday. He’d have either a chance at paying back GGG for his previous los,s or proving his mettle against the greatness that is Canelo.
Billy Joe Saunders Highlights Knockouts
With Saunders offering to donate his purse to charity if he loses, Lemieux has equal pressure in his hometown to deliver.
“Saunders made a lot of promises, about his chin, about his purse, and that’s something I haven’t forgotten,” said Lemieux at the final press conference. “Let’s see for how long you will be able to back up those words and put them together again this Saturday. I’m well aware of your abilities, I hope you are aware of mine. I’m not just a puncher. People like to see blood and big punches, and that’s what they’ll see on Saturday.”