A golden future for Canada’s Lemieux
David Lemieux, 33-2 (31), has been a huge, hometown star for a while now in Montreal, Canada. He has a huge following north of the border, especially in the province of Quebec as his exciting “bombs-away” style is must-see-TV for Canadian fight fans.
Like all fighters in Canada, Lemieux has been looking to expand his brand into the United States and conquer the big boys in the middleweight division throughout the international market.
He took his first steps in April 2011, when he challenged world-rated, former middleweight title challenger Marco Antonio Rubio. Lemieux came out blasting in the opening rounds but Rubio weathered the storm. Then as the bout progressed, fatigue started setting in and Rubio turned the tables by simply outlasting an exhausted Lemieux, stopping him in the seventh round.
Frustrated with his first loss, Lemieux looked to return with a “name” win. Former WBA junior middleweight champion, Joachim Alcine seemed to be the perfect choice for Lemieux’s comeback in Dec. of 2011. However, Alcine got by Lemieux in a 10-round, majority decision win.
With two losses in a row, it was time to look at making some changes. What was once a red-hot career was now at a standstill. One of boxing’s most exciting and explosive fighters had suffered two losses in a row after a perfect 25-0 start and he needed to figure out how to turn things around.
Had Lemieux hit the wall? Had he reached his watermark? Was he going to have to be content to campaign domestically and be satisfied as simply a hometown hero?
On Dec. 6 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Lemieux scored a defining win over the always game and rugged Gabriel Rosado.
The win was impressive and it turned heads with the suits at HBO, who are always eager to feature an exciting puncher who looks to end every fight with one shot.
The win over Rosado, on such a big stage, was certainly the win he had been looking for reignite his once red-hot career. While he was coming into the bout on a seven-fight win streak after the back-to-back losses in 2011, he was looking for the head-turning, name win and Rosado fit the bill.
Now with an exciting stoppage win on a huge platform, Lemieux is now looking to break out in the international market.
With his recent signing to Golden Boy Promotions, who will work in conjunction with Eye of the Tiger Management, the sky could be the limit for the hard-hitting Quebec resident.
Lemieux recently held court at the MGM Grand media room about his recent signing with Golden Boy. Oscar De La Hoya and Lemieux’s manager, Camille Estephan, were present as they discussed the Lemieux signing and their future. And the feeling in the room is the future looks very bright for the exciting Canuck.
“This is something I have looked forward to, being associated with Golden Boy, they are on top of the game. It’s a great honor to be working with them. I am on my way. It’s going to be a good opportunity for me to be exposed in the states to be able to give everyone a look at what I got and I could do. It’s going to be great.”
The “Golden Boy” himself, De La Hoya added, “We will be working hand and hand with Eye of the Tiger Management. We are partners and we want the best fights, the best deals. We will be working together in the best interest for David.”
Lemieux knows the public loves punchers and he plans to continue to give fans more of what they got a taste of in Brooklyn.
“I have put in the work. What you saw in Brooklyn was only 50 percent of what I can do and I feel like I can be a lot better. I want to show that in my next fight,” Lemieux said.
Lemieux finds himself in a middleweight mix that has a lot of great options and is looking to make the most of his 2015 campaign by bringing home a world title to Montreal.
The division is represented by WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, WBA champion Gennady Golovkin and newly-crowned WBO champion Andy Lee.
Other great potential match-ups include undefeated ex-WBO champion Peter Quillin and Mexican star and former junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
With fellow sluggers like Golovkin and exciting Irishman Lee, there are some tailor-made match-ups for Lemieux.
Golovkin is hot off a win this weekend over Martin Murray and both Lee and Quillin face each other in April.
So look for Lemieux to bust out another big performance in the States before long and then set his radar on the likes of “GGG” or the winner of Lee-Quillin.
While Lemieux is looking to break his brand in the United States, Oscar knows a good room when he sees one and nothing rocks like a sold-out Bell Centre in Montreal. Don’t be surprised to see Lemieux’s at-home work station hosting a major league middleweight war this year.
“I want to fight the best to be the best. There are no names in particular but we are just looking for a world championship fight. I fear no man; I want to go after the top of the food chain. Oscar and Bernard [Hopkins] came up fighting the best and I am of the same mind,” said Lemieux.
There are a lot of great match-ups to be made at middleweight in 2015. And adding David Lemieux to the mix just turns up the heat on some already potentially hot bouts.