David Lemieux vs. Glen Tapia: Weight and see
David Lemieux will face Glen Tapia on the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan HBO Pay-Per-View undercard on May 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Tapia, a natural junior middleweight, will move up in weight for the fight after having been recently released from his Top Rank Promotions contract. Lemieux, 34-3 (31), 27, has not fought since losing his IBF middleweight title by stoppage to Gennady Golovkin in their unification bout last October. Lemieux was supposed to return to his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to face James De La Rosa at 163 pounds on March 12 but he missed weight and the fight was canceled. Tapia, 23-2 (15), 26, of Passaic, New Jersey, will be coming off a one-year layoff, having not fought since a fourth-round TKO loss to Michel Soro on May 8, 2015.
For both fighters, there is a recipe that could lead to victory. If Lemieux, a powerful knockout puncher, can land his heavy artillery. he is in a good spot to get anyone out of there and Tapia may find himself in trouble early. However, if Tapia, a talented boxer who also has a bit of pop, can use his boxing skills and movement to nullify Lemieux’s power, he might find himself getting the better of Lemieux, who sometimes tires down the stretch, especially if he has had to drain himself to make weight.
Before the fight, both fighters expressed confidence about their upcoming assignment. Lemieux is looking to do what he does best and Tapia is looking to upset the doubters. And both fighters are confident that weight will not be an issue heading into the fight.
“Everything happens for a reason. Looking at it now, maybe it was the best thing that De La Rosa didn’t take the last fight,” said Lemieux. “I could have injured him badly if he’s entering the ring and not too sure. I would have been tremendously strong in that fight and I’m going to be tremendously strong in the future. I’m a knockout artist and it’s the way I fight. I’m not going to lie to you and say I’m going to come in and play around. Obviously I’m going to come in and throw some hard shots and if my shots connect, they hurt. I’m going in there to win every round and be the best I can be.”
For anyone who feels Lemieux might again struggle at the scales, this didn’t seem to be of any worry to the Montreal resident.
“It’s not going to be difficult at all (to make weight), I’ve changed a lot of things that didn’t work to my advantage. I could give excuses but people don’t want to hear excuses. I’ll make 160; it’s not going to be a problem,” he said.
For Tapia, absent for a year and (to many observers) playing the B-side in this fight, he knows what he needs to do to quiet the doubters and come away with the victory.
“I’m excited; it’s a big opportunity,” he said. “What makes me better is that everyone was doubting me, so, when I go out there and win, it will be that much better. I had to lose 13-to-14 pounds for my last fight. I was training to lose weight in my last fight; I was not training for boxing. I was killing myself and it was all wrong. After the fight, the whole world doubted me – and rightly so. I understand why they feel this way because I put myself in this position. I was the one who lost his last fight; I was the one who didn’t do the diet right. I’ve had to stay positive for these last nine-to-10 months and working hard. I didn’t want something else; this is a perfect opportunity. What a way to start 2016. I’ve been in the gym for nine months. On paper, it looks bad; I’m moving up in weight and lost my last fight. And I’m not just moving up in weight but moving up to meet one of the strongest punchers in the division. It looks wrong. It looks wrong and people will say it’s a bad call. But people and critics saying that aren’t in the gym. They don’t see my passion.”