By: Sean Crose
After destroying the flamboyant and outspoken Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan this past September, the 40-4 David Lemieux will continue his quest to regain a middleweight title claim when he faces the 20-2 Tureano Johnson at Madison Square Garden this Saturday. The 12 round bout will be on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding match, which will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Lemieux, the former IBF world middleweight titleholder, will be taking part in his third and final bout of 2018, after losing a one sided decision to Billy Joe Saunders in December of 2017 for the WBO world middleweight belt.
At the moment, Lemiuex has his sights set on boxing’s biggest star, Canelo Alvarez. Both fighters are under the banner of Golden Boy Promotions, and both are fighting on DAZN. A come forward, exciting fighter, Lemieux can end a bout in shockingly violent fashion…but has come up short in his two biggest matches. Aside from the Saunders loss, Gennady Golovkin beat the Canadian up in one sided fashion back in 2015. Lemieux however, claims to have gown as a result of the challenges he’s faced. “Over the years,” he said during a Thursday press conference, “I’ve learned a lot and matured a lot.”
Lemieux’s promoter, Golden Boy honcho Oscar De La Hoya, had impressive things to say about the former champion. “When talking about David Lemieux,” the hall of fame boxer told the media, “two words come to mind: Don’t Blink.”
Although Lemieux may be looking forward to facing Canelo in the future, Johnson is no one’s easy out. Indeed, Johnson has his own career goals set out for him, with Canelo undoubtedly being high on his list. Although he was stopped in 2017 by Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Johnson exuded a highly positive attitude at Thursday’s press conference. “What’s the matter with you guys,” he joked to those gathered, “you haven’t had your breakfast or something?” It was clear the man was ready to face Lemieux this weekend. “I am definitely going to bring it,” he said, adding that “it’s going to be an exciting one.”
While the Lemieux-Johnson battle isn’t the main attraction this weekend, it’s certainly being portrayed as a potentially thrilling affair. It also may offer a peek into the future, as opponents will be needed for Canelo now that he’s signed a highly lucrative contract with DAZN. The winner may well face the man in the near future…provided, of course, that Canelo bests Fielding in Saturday’s main event.