David Lemieux / De La Hoya Interview

DAVID LEMIEUX: It’s been a great camp. It’s been a great — it’s been a great training. Everything has been on spot. Never had a more complete camp than this. I have been pushing myself to the maximum with each training, with each exercise, with everything envisioning the big day ahead of me, October 17th, so I did everything I had to do to make sure I have no regrets October 17th, because the plan is to walk out of that — out of Madison Square Garden with those belts and hopefully without a broken nose (Chuckles.)

CECILIA ZUNIGA: We will start the Q and A portion of this call.

Q. David, Gennady Golovkin, when other fighters get asked about fighting him they either ask for way too much money, or they just say no. Yet when this fight came up, by all accounts from your team, from Oscar, from Camille, you wanted this fight right off the bat, not wanting to do anything else after you won your title. Some guys would sit on it, take an easier fight. Tell me what was in your mind that made you decide, you know what? I want the fight that everybody else doesn’t want to fight?

DAVID LEMIEUX: The initial plan in my head is that I’m ready, and it’s now or never; let’s do it. Golovkin is at his best. I’m getting to my best, and I will be at my best on October 17th, so in my head if I beat the best middleweight there is, everybody is pointing their fingers at, I’m going to be the best so that’s the plan.

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I’ve been working very hard over the years, and I got a very significant win the last fight, I got the title. I got the IBF. Now we took a big step and we’re over here, unifying the titles. So we’re ready for it, that’s why I took the fight.

Q. David, I think most people look at it and say it’s going to be an exciting fight; that’s just the way you guys perform, but you’re the underdog in this fight because of the top kinda streak that “GGG” has been on over the last few years and they look and say, Lemieux got knocked out a few years ago, lost a couple of fights, how do you see that shaping up? Do those losses haunt you or do they drive you, or do they not matter anymore?

DAVID LEMIEUX: Those two losses are completely insignificant to where I am today, because, you know, everybody has their path, everybody has their ways of doing things and their evolution and becoming a champion, you know. Some guys go undefeated, some have defeats and become the greatest fighter out there. They have 0 significance and are in my past, those two losses, were miscalculations. I lost those two fights because of things I neglected, and I changed everything in my life to be where I am at today. So I think it’s been a big achievement from my behalf to where I am now, and the changes that I have needed to do to fighting for a unification title, so it’s a big step I took, and, you know, the numbers speak for themselves.

Everybody understands the gravity of this fight, and I think the people are going to be surprised with what I bring to the table October 17th. I’m a big underdog in this fight, and to me it makes no difference, I know who I am, and I know what I’m going to bring to the table, so we will see after the fight.

Q. David, one thing that we know you bring is punching power. Do you feel like if you’re able to get to him that your power — he’s shown a great chin, if you ask him and his camp they say through 300-plus amateur fights, his 30-plus professional fights, he’s never been on the floor, never been knocked down, never been seriously hurt in a fight, but I’m not sure he’s ever fought a guy with the pure power that you have. So do you feel like if you can touch the chin or get to the body or whatever that you can be the first guy to do some serious damage to this guy and maybe get him on the deck?

DAVID LEMIEUX: You know, I don’t look at his past or his future or anything like that. I’m going in there, being me being neutral and him being neutral, we’re two hard punchers, and it’s going to be — we’re both at 0-0 when we enter into that ring on October 17th.

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It’s going to be a hard test in front of me but I’m really not worried and, yes, I do have power, but I’m not going into this fight only with power. I’m going to need all the tools in order to be sharp in a fight of this degree. He’s a very good fighter, very smart, but I think I got a lot of surprises to show the world.

Q. How weary do you have to be of his punching power which has been his calling card. He’s got 20 knockouts in a row.

DAVID LEMIEUX: Power is not something that frightens me. Nothing really frightens me when I’m in the ring, when I know I’m prepared. I know I’m going to take on the strongest there is, and I’m very confident in my strength so I have zero worries going into a fight against anybody when I’m perfectly ready, which I am today.

Q. Much respect for your willingness to tangle with Gennady Golovkin so soon after winning your first World Title, obviously a lessor competitor would have milked it. With the recent defeat of Lucas Matthysse and the potential defeat of Canelo at the hands of Cotto, do you feel any extra motivation to keep the Golden Boy Promotions name relevant in boxing? Can you carry the Golden Boy banner on your shoulders, if need be?

DAVID LEMIEUX: I think the names associated with me are going to be very proud to be associated with me, as long as they’re associated with me, Golden Boy, Eye of the Tiger, everybody with me is going to be proud. I bring a lot to the table, and I’m going to bring a tremendous amount of greatness on October 17th, so nobody is going to be disappointed, not the fans, not my family, and not my teammates.

Q. What are your thoughts on the Canelo/Cotto fight? Who do you think is going to win that, David?

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DAVID LEMIEUX: I think it’s a very interesting fight, Cotto being the veteran, Canelo being the young, hungry guy, but I think the younger, hungrier guy has the advantage in this fight, being Canelo. Cotto is a great fighter, but I will give him the edge, I think, to Canelo on this one.

Q. We all know that you and Gennady Golovkin are the middleweight power punchers, and I know this has been touched on a little bit in the call but simply, who would be more important in this fight the good chin or the power punch?

DAVID LEMIEUX: The biggest heart!

Q. The good punch?

DAVID LEMIEUX: The fighter with the biggest heart, that can take and receive — it’s not about power this fight it’s about character and toughness and determination and who wants it more. We’re both hard punchers, everybody knows that but let’s see beyond that.

Q. My question is for David. David, I will ask my question in English, but I will appreciate if you can translate your answer right after in French just for me. Abel Sanchez told us the difference in that fight will be the boxing IQ. That Gennady Golovkin has the edge on that factor. Do you think that your lack of experience can be a factor, and you will do your best to show that you have the real great and final experience necessary to make it a good match?

DAVID LEMIEUX: You want it in French or English?

Q. Both.

DAVID LEMIEUX: I think Abel Sanchez and the whole team are quite underestimating me, but come October 17th I’m going to be very, very well prepared with my boxing abilities, my boxing skills, my strength and everything around it, so I’m going to be a very complete fighter. I’m not just David Lemieux, the power puncher, but I’m also David Lemieux the fighter.

So I’m going to come in there very complete and make sure that everything is well rounded to perfection.

Q. In French, please?

DAVID LEMIEUX: (Answering in French.)
Q. David, I wanted to talk not so much about the fight but the whole promotion leading up to the fight. Most of your fights in the past have all been local affairs, taking place at the Bell Center, this one has been quite different with the whole Pay-Per-View, press conferences in New York, LA, conference calls, lots of public training, I’m just wondering how that whole being on a much bigger stage, how it’s been for you and have you enjoyed it?

DAVID LEMIEUX: It’s been great. You know, this is the biggest achievement a fighter can have, to get a chance to unify the titles at Madison Square Garden being built up the way it is. I think I’ve come a long way, Golovkin has done a great job. We’re two great fighters, and we’re there to show the world what they want to see, but there will be only one who walks out of that place with the belt, and I’m planning to do that.

This has been a great, great camp, it’s been a tremendous achievement, you know, getting the IBF World Title against a very hard opponent, very good opponent like Hassan N’Dam, and now even higher, fighting against Golovkin, unifying those titles, so I’m very confident going into the fight. I’m very happy, very pleased with myself and my team to be where I am and to be doing what I’m doing.

Q. Getting a taste of it, how eager are you to continue at this level and have bigger and bigger fights as your future emerges?

DAVID LEMIEUX: We’re at a big fight right now, so I will take care of that and the future comes fast enough. The future comes fast enough, so I’ll take it a step at a time. You know, I want to do great things in my life so I’m — you know, that’s why I have to achieve great things. This fight for me is very important, not just to fight it but also to win it and to show some — to shock the world. I’m a big underdog in this fight and it’s perfect by me, I will be the same in the ring.

Q. Is that a role that you cherish? I mean, I don’t know that you’ve ever been an underdog in the past. How have you adjusted to being that, everybody saying, “David, you’re an underdog” it’s not words you’re used to hearing.

DAVID LEMIEUX: Yeah, well, it’s not a problem by me. I know who I am. I have a lot of confidence in myself and my team does, also, which is why we’re at where we’re at right now and a lot of fighters duck a lot of fighters, I don’t. Golovkin is a very good fighter, but I am also a very good fighter so it’s going to be even better for me when I win. To me it makes no difference. I don’t really pay attention, the numbers or to people who give out a lot of show. I’m focused in the fight, I’m fighting Golovkin in the ring, it’s me against him, and nothing else matters.

Q. David, I wanted to ask, after fighting most of your career in Canada, how important is it for you to come to America and put on a good show for a U.S. audience?

DAVID LEMIEUX: Well, you know, boxing, everybody knows that it’s — U.S. has dominated boxing and the big TV and everybody is there, so it’s very important for me to make sure I create a nice, strong fan base in the U.S. and then the world. It’s been very hard work but it’s finally pay off, especially since I fought against Rosado, coming in the fight in the market sensor, at first I got booed, then when I left the ring I got a standing ovation.

I think I bring enough to the table so I can — I’m a fan-friendly type of fighter, so I make sure I always respect the fans by giving them the best fight I can.

Q. Do you expect to have a fair amount of Canadian fans in house for you at The Garden?

DAVID LEMIEUX: Yes, actually I do. There is a lot of Canadians, Quebecers, coming down to support me, we will have a big — few buses that are coming down to support me, so, yes, I have a lot of Canadian fans here that have always been pushing me and motivating me since the beginning of my career and have been a great help in my great achievements in life in the boxing world.

So, yeah, I expect a nice crowd on my behalf.

Q. Oscar, we’ve seen the sport basically dominated by one guy over the last couple of years, now he’s supposedly retired. What’s your opinion, is the sport best when one guy is dominating, like maybe what Tyson was in his heyday or when you were in your time, or is it now about other people trying to make themselves known and become the best?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: No, we’re definitely going into this very unique era, the next era in boxing, which is very exciting, because not only will we be able to witness greatness from one individual fighter but a handful of fighters. October 17th, with Golovkin vs. Lemieux, the winner obviously will become, you know, the undisputed middleweight champion of the world and will be recognized as the very best.

We have November 21st with Canelo versus Cotto, another superstar in the make inning whoever wins that match-up so, you know, boxing was dominated in the past by one individual, whether it was Tyson, whether it was me or Chavez, Mayweather, in recent years, so we have exciting times to look forward to, but we will be able to witness several champions who will carry the sport for years to come.

Q. When you say boxing now, I know a lot of people were disappointed with the Mayweather/Pacquiao and they stayed away from Mayweather’s last fight. Do you see an opportunity — I don’t know if it’s to “revive” the sport but take it to a different level than trying to have 2 million Pay-Per-View buys and generate $4 million. Is it good to get back to the basics again?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: It’s always great to get back to the basics. For me, the Mayweather era was not about the respect, it was not about seeing who was the very best about — it wasn’t about the fights; it was about the business. And what we’re witnessing here with Golovkin and Lemieux, it’s about honor and pride, it’s about who is the best middleweight in the world. The same with Canelo versus Cotto.

As long as we can give the fight fans the best fight possible, you know, boxing will always continue to grow, the fight fans will continue to buy Pay-Per-View and will we see another 4 million Pay-Per-View fight? Absolutely! As long as we can keep on putting the best against the best.

Q. My question is for Marc Ramsey. I would like to hear your thoughts on Abel Sanchez talk about “GGG” having a higher boxing IQ and if like earlier, David, you could answer in both English and French, that would help me.

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: To be honest, I don’t care. I don’t focus on what Abel Sanchez say or don’t say, because the night of the fight it’s going to be Golovkin against Lemieux, it’s not going to be me against Abel or something else, and if you look at the three last fights of David Lemieux, I really believe the three trainers of the last three opponents underestimate the ability and the IQ of David Lemieux to box. When people look at David Lemieux on video for sure the first thing you see, that guy has a lot of power, but they underestimate the ability of David Lemieux, and also his ring IQ, and they going to be the next ones to be surprised.

Q. Would you please answer in French?

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: (Answering in French.)

Q. Anything you have done differently for this fight, preparation wise?

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: No, we’ve — we train like we train usually, for sure we have a specific opponent. We analyze very well Mr. Golovkin, but at the same time it’s important for us to know what David Lemieux can bring to the ring and impose on that night, not only follow what is Gennady Golovkin but impose what is David Lemieux, what he can bring to that ring is very important, and we did a very good job at it the last eight weeks.

Q. Could you answer in French?

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: (Answering in French.)

CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thanks, Mike. Now I would like to introduce David for his final comments. David, do you have any final comments?

DAVID LEMIEUX: October 17th, history will be made. It’s going to be a fight to be talked about for years to come and I’m extremely excited to be part of this great event and to be showing the world, you know, a great night of boxing. Unifying those titles is the absolute goal for me on October 17th, thank you.

CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thanks, David. Marc Ramsey, do you have any final comments?

MARC RAMSEY: Just that our piece of the puzzle are together and don’t miss the show; it’s going to be great event of boxing.

CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thank you, Marc. Camille, any final comments?

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: Simply like to thank everybody for being there, being attentive to what we are doing and bringing boxing to the levels that it’s been for so many years. It’s the “Sweet Science” and these guys are going to contribute to the history and we are very, very confident that we are going to have a new superstar in David Lemieux. To repeat Oscar’s words, we have a great team around us with Oscar, Bernard, Marc, I feel like we have done fully all our homework and if we have been underestimated, then the price will be paid.

CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thank you, Camille. Now to make the closing comments, once again, Oscar De La Hoya.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you for being on the call. Like everyone said, we’re all excited. October 17th will be one for the ages! It will be exciting, it will be historical, champion versus champion, sold-out arena will be a great indication that this event will be a total success all around, so we will see you fight week. We have a lot of exciting updates and a lot of — we have the training session, the media workouts, so we will see you in New York, thank you.

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Golovkin vs. Lemieux is presented by K2 Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with GGG Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management and is sponsored by Corono Extra. The event will take place Saturday, October 17 from Madison Square Garden and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. ET and the first fight begins at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Tickets for GOLOVKIN vs. LEMIEUX are on sale now and priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50 and can purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com.

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