By Sean Crose
“#Lemieux’s punches coming through in surround sound! Can’t believe NDam is still in it!”
There was a lot to be gleaned from that single tweet by celebrity and boxing nut Rosie Perez on Saturday evening. For it captured the essence of a battle of attrition in the Great White North, an all-out war between two men leaving it all in the ring.
Canadian slugger David Lemieux (33-2) was up for the IBF world middleweight strap, which was vacant, when he faced the skilled and formidable Frenchman, Hassan N’Dam (31-1) Saturday evening up in Montreal. Lemieux was strong in the first and was able to connect. By the second round N’Dam was down from a hard – hard – shot by Lemieux.
Credit where credit is due, however, the Frenchman got to his feet and continued fighting. Indeed, the fight remained competitive until Lemieux dropped his man again twice in the fifth. Ultimately, the Canadian’s shots were proving to be just too much against a talented and determined foe.
So determined was N’Dam in fact, that the fans loved the bout. He was getting beat – badly, when the fight was viewed objectively – but he wasn’t about to roll over die. Driven by his inner Rocky and a whole lot of inner strength, he kept at it.
Even when he was dropped for a fourth time in the 7th.
Lemieux was a sight to behold, however. With his purple trunks and stalking, Dempseyesque style, he just kept moving forward and thudding, moving forward and thudding. It was a battle of heart against brute force. The heart was admirable, but the brute force was simply destructive.
Incredibly enough, the bout lasted all the way until the bitter end, with N’Dam still swinging and Lemieux still striving for the title. Indeed, Lemieux did win the title when all was said and done, by a well earned unanimous decision victory. Credit to N’Dam, however for being everything a fighter – and athlete – should be (maybe Adrien Broner should take a few pointers).
As for Lemiuex – boxing may have a rising star on his hands. He may not be the most skilled practitioner of the fight game, but he hits and attacks like a monster. He’s also an absolute master at cutting off the ring. Frankly, a unification bout with Gennady Golovkin in the near future is practically a no-brainer, at least as far as the fans are concerned. Even though the more nuanced Golovkin would clearly be the favorite, the whole thing would have a Dempsey-Firpo air to it, which the fight world – and HBO – would find hard to resist.
Earlier in the evening, Luis Ortiz (22-0- 2NC) destroyed Byron Polley (27-19-1) in the first round while lightweight Dierry Jean (29-1) won a unanimous decision over Jerry Belmontes (19-7) in a ten round affair.
The Lemieux-N’Dam fight was aired live on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Deportes, courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions.