David Lemieux, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., Paul Williams and the WBC Middleweight Rankings

GM Ross - I was reading over the rankings today, searching out fellow Canadians, when my eyes fell upon David Lemieux (24-0-0), who sits third in the WBC middleweight rankings. Lemieux is set to perform on Saturday, December 3, on a GYM promotions card that’s bringing many of Canada’s best professionals under one roof. In the main event Lemieux – one of Canada’s brightest pugilistic prospects at any weight – takes on Purnell Gates (19-1-0) of Grandville, Michigan, in a ten round middleweight contest. Gates’ opposition over his twenty fight career has been mediocre at best. I watched Gates win a split decision over Chris Grays (9-18-0) last March in Detroit.. He failed to impress that night and it’s only going to get rougher for Mr. Gates when he comes north to meet Lemieux. I predict that Gates becomes an easy addition to Lemieux’s win column, falling by KO or TKO in five rounds or less. If all goes according to plan, and Lemieux defeats Gates, the WBC has an eliminator bout in the works that would see Lemieux face Marco Antonio Rubio early next year, the winner to receive a shot at Sergio Martinez.

Above Lemieux in the WBC middleweight rankings are Paul “the Punisher” Williams at number two and, somehow, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., who holds the inexplicable “Silver” WBC title, at number one. Chavez’s hilarious 40-0-1 record is based on a who’s who of journeymen and tomato cans. How can the number one contender have fought no one in the WBC’s top fifteen? The same can be said of Lemieux, who has captured his ranking without fighting any world class opposition. What’s the difference between Lemieux and Chavez Jr.? Lemieux, with twenty four fights, is ready and willing to meet the best in the division. This ‘come one, come all’ attitude, found in most of history’s top boxers, is something Chavez, already forty-three fights into his career, has never shown. Maybe Freddie Roach can coach the overly cautious Chavez into some high profile fights, who knows.

Paul Williams’ recently suffered one of the most devastating knockouts witnessed in recent years against champion Sergio Martinez. Much has been written regarding Martinez’s future, but who’s next for Williams? Chavez is unlikely to risk tarnishing his inflated record against ‘the Punisher.’ Lemieux is already tied up in negotiations with Rubio and, honestly, needs more work before he can contend with Williams. So where does Williams go from here? Does he even stay at middleweight? If it could be arranged, Williams is the only fighter in the WBC middleweight rankings that could potentially defeat Martinez. A more profitable career, however, may wait for Williams down in the welterweight division. With Andre Berto looking sharper with each appearance, Floyd Mayweather Jr. exploring the frontiers of delinquency and Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Sergio Mora all seemingly looking for high profile fights, the welterweight division presents Williams with many possible, profitable matchups. Yet, the welters have always been hesitant to meet Williams. Indeed, his rangy but busy style of fighting scares off most of the 147 pound crowd. The worst case scenario is likely Williams-Cintron II in the light middleweight division. After Cintron bunny hopped through the ropes in their first contest, injuring himself and ending the fight, a rematch could settle that debacle once and for all.

Article posted on 01.12.2010

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