It will be a wholly different Battle of Davids this Saturday, as super-middleweights David Benavidez, 25-0(22) and David Lemieux, 43-4(36) collide in Glendale, Arizona. This one could prove to be an explosion, or maybe it will prove to be an expulsion – as in long-time contender Lemieux might be sent away from the upper rankings of the division.
Both men, at opposite ends of their careers, and both former champions, are promising violence, of the maximum variety. To put it simply, there is zero chance this fight goes anywhere close to the distance. But who wins? 25 year old Benavidez, who has been calling for the big fights for some time – with Canelo Alvarez especially – is a stiff fave to win, yet we all know Lemieux is always, always dangerous. At one time, the Canadian destroyer was being looked at as the next big star of the sport.
When we look at the recent form of both men, Benavidez should win, and perhaps in highlight fashion on Saturday. Benavidez has not gone the distance in a fight since 2018, and he has turned over some good men. Plenty of people felt Benavidez was THE threat to Canelo’s supremacy (but of course Dmitry Bivol burst the bubble instead).
Lemieux has fought at a comparatively low-profile, with the 33 year old picking up five wins since his embarrassing loss to Billy Joe Saunders in late 2017. Wins over Karim Achour, Max Bursak (a split decision), Francy Ntetu and David Zegarra didn’t especially excite fans, yet a swift KO of the cocksure Gary ‘O’Sullivan, which Lemieux sandwiched in in September of 2018, kind of reaffirmed his position as a puncher.
Lemieux has it all to do on Saturday, yet at the same time he has pretty much nothing to lose. Benavidez is for some the best young, unbeaten, 168 pound fighter operating today. In some ways, it’s tough to see anything other than a Benavidez win. However, this fight carries with it that, ‘something will happen here’ element to it. Both men may go down, both men may find themselves in real trouble. This one, I feel, will be extremely lively.
For however long the fight lasts.
Either Benavidez marches on in his quest to fight the best, or Lemieux revives his career in a big way.
Who are YOU picking?