David Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) weighed in at a lean-looking 166 1/4 pounds on Friday’s weigh-in for his 12-round headliner against former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (43-4, 36 KOs) this Saturday, May 21st at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
The 33-year-old Canadian Lemieux came in at 166 1/4 lbs as well and looked in great shape. Benavidez and Lemieux will be fighting for the interim WBC super-middleweight title. The winner will be in a position to challenge WBC 168-lb champion Canelo Alvarez when he returns to the weight class.
Lemieux is perhaps the biggest puncher Benavidez will have faced during his nine-year professional career, and it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with his power.
Benavidez can’t afford to let Lemieux hang around for long because he hits too hard, and he doesn’t possess the defensive skills to avoid getting hit the way Gennadiy Golovkin & Billy Joe Saunders did in their fights against the Canadian slugger.
“I’ve had a long layoff, but I’m feeling great, and I’ve been in the gym a lot. I’ve been in the gym, preparing for a big fight,” said David Lemieux to Fight Hub TV. “The opportunity is here to give the fans a big fight.
Lemieux’s speech didn’t sound so good during the interview. It’s unclear whether he’s got issues with his teeth, but he sounds a lot different to this writer than from this interview seven years ago in 2015.
“Everything changed as far as the mental and the physical preparation. Then you go fighting a guy like David Benavidez, a guy that’s avoided. He’s a very good fighter and everything,” said Lemieux when asked if his mindset changes in taking on a dangerous puncher like Benavidez.
“Everything changes. You change your work ethic at the gym; you change how you punch. It’s harder, more vicious. Everything is times ten. We’ve had a tremendous camp, and my coach is amazing.
“I got everything I needed to resemble a fighter like David Benavidez, so you’re not left with any surprises in the ring. I’m fully prepared, and I can’t wait for the fight,” said Lemieux.
“It’s going to be interesting. He’s a guy that comes to fight, and I’m a guy that comes to fight. I can promise the fans they’re going to have a great time.
“Power,” said Lemieux when asked what he brings to the fight that Benavidez will have problems with. “All power and stamina. I don’t care if he’s a boogeyman.
“He’s a fighter in front of me, and I fear no fighters. I fought all fighters; whoever it is, I need to fight. I’m not scared of no man. On fight night, I’m determined to be a champion,” said Lemieux.