By Hans Olson
Can Lemieux Bounce Back?
Saturday evening at the Bell Centre in Montreal, David Lemieux will step into action for the first time in 8 months since losing the only fight of his career. That April night, he was stopped in the 7th round of a WBC middleweight eliminator by Marco Antonio Rubio. Much has changed since then. After many attempts by David’s team to adjust David’s training habits—including a stint at the camp of middleweight king Sergio Martinez over the summer, things still weren’t working out. In October, David and his longtime trainer Russ Anber, parted ways. It was an amicable split, Russ acknowledging that he and David no longer saw eye to eye in the gym, and as Russ put it in my interview with him back in October, they were on a “different philosophical level when it comes to boxing and to the way it should be done. From all aspects.”
Russ felt that if David hadn’t completely bought into what he wanted to do going forward, the best thing to do would be let David do things his way, receding that it would be the best for both David and himself in the long run.
Now training under another acclaimed trainer, Marc Ramsay, David Lemieux looks to bounce back in emphatic fashion, taking on fellow Laval native Joachim Alcine.
One fighter who has confidence in David Lemieux, is the very guy who defeated him back in April, Marco Antonio Rubio.
“You know, David, as a boxer has everything it takes to be a champion,” said Rubio in a recent conversation with Boxing Insider. “He hits hard, he’s got good technique…I think where David failed in his fight against me was his conditioning. I don’t know if he dedicated what needed to be dedicated in the gym—but I won that fight in the gym. I trained properly, I came into the fight with a strategy. Knowing how he fights, I think he has to fight a little bit more using his brain with certain fights because, at the level he’s getting to, he’s not going to be able to knock everybody out like he had prior in his career. But that kid, he’s going to be a great champion. He’s young, he’s a great boxer, he’s got the power and I just think focusing a little bit more in the gym on his conditioning…he got tired out.”
It appears David Lemieux has made the changes that both Russ Anber alluded to and that Marco Antonio Rubio questioned.
“I’ve changed a lot,” said Lemieux in a feature by Herb Zurkowsky that ran in the Montreal Gazette on Thursday. “I’m ready to be an elite fighter and be on the world-championship scene. I’ve got to be ready mentally. I understand the sacrifices required to make a different step. Ramsay has brought a different aspect. I love boxing again and I’m seeing the world through different eyes. It’s a good atmosphere in the gym. You can’t come into the gym and be moody.”
The mood Saturday night will be one of tense anticipation. Fans in Quebec are hoping for a sensational performance from David Lemieux, and he knows he has to deliver one.
Look for him to do just that Saturday night.
Waiting for Superman
In the evening’s co-feature, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson will look to put an exclamation point on the fantastic 2011 he’s had, a year that saw him knocking out Derek Edwards on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” in April, followed up by a 1st round destruction of Dion Savage on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz in September. “For Adonis I’m expecting a stunning performance,” said promoter Yvon Michel when speaking to Boxing Insider last week. “Adonis is probably the best kept secret in the super middleweight division.”
In a division loaded with talent, Adonis Stevenson will put himself in a terrific position for a run at a title next year if he wins Saturday night. He’ll face Aaron Pryor Jr, son of the legendary Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds for the vacant WBO NABO super middleweight title.
Fast and Furious
The loaded card is rounded out with Arash Usmanee vs. Antonio Joao Bento; Eleider “Storm” Alvarez vs. Emilano Cayetano; Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas vs. Matthew Greer; Tyler Asselstine vs. Philippe Frenois; Ghislain Maduma vs. Jeremy Abbott; Baha Laham vs. Csaba Toth; Kevin Lavallee vs. Ignac Kassai; and Didier “Big Daddy” Bence vs. Sandy Pembroke.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson