Though he was comprehensively defeated by middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin back in October, exciting middleweight David Lemieux remains a top contender and a big draw. The former IBF champ returns to action this Saturday, against James De La Rosa in Montreal, Canada. The fight will go out live on Fox Deportes.
Lemiuex, still only 27 and sporting a good 34-3(31) record, has bounced back from a stoppage loss before, when he returned to winning ways following a shock 7th-round upset defeat at the heavy hands of Marco Antonio Rubio (this 2011 loss followed by a points defeat to Joachim Alcine) and the big puncher told USA Today how he feels he can rise to the top once again. Not only does Lemieux believe he can become a two-time world champion, the skilled slugger thinks he can gain revenge over GGG – the man who gave him the most comprehensive defeat of his career.
“It didn’t take me too long to get over it,” Lemieux said of the loss to GGG. “There were certain things that I needed to adjust from a fight like that. But I wasn’t hurt mentally or physically and so I came back in training pretty fast. For now we’re focusing on March 12th but I don’t think it’s going to take very long to get a title fight. I’m ready to take on anybody in the middleweight division.”
Including the avoided Golovkin in a rematch:
“I still have faith that I could beat Golovkin,” Lemiuex said. “He’s a great fighter and I give him props for that fight. But I just have to adjust and come back. I don’t regret nothing. He’s a tough fighter to beat. It’s going to take a good plan to beat a guy like this. There’s some things I would’ve done better. But that’s the way it is………I’ll get back to where I was.”
First of all, Lemieux deserves a ton of credit for being willing to face Golovkin for a second time when there are plenty of fighters who are unwilling to climb into the ring with him once. But can Lemieux possibly come back and improve on October’s fight, where he showed plenty of heart and guts but was unable to win a round? Will Lemieux even get a second fight with the man most see as the best middleweight in the world?
Interestingly, Lemieux says he would also like a fight with Canelo Alvarez, the other fighter fans point to when it comes to being the best at or around the 160-pound weight class. But, like GGG, Lemieux says he will only fight Canelo at full middleweight:
“Yes, of course, but Canelo’s not a middleweight. I will not go below160,” Lemieux told USA Today on the subject. “Canelo is a very good fighter but if he wants to fight middleweights he has to fight at 160.”
In the meantime, Lemieux has the not in any way gimme opponent of De La Rosa to take care of. We don’t know how affected Lemieux was by the Golovkin beating, despite what he says himself, and De La Rosa, who can punch some himself and was once an unbeaten and highly touted prospect, will be coming to Canada to win. We’ve seen good fighters lose for a second time when attempting to bounce back from a bad loss – it happened to Lemiuex before, could it happen again?
Look for a good fight on Saturday, with plenty of action. Mexican De La Rosa, 23-3(13) is coming off a stoppage loss to Hugo Centeno Junior (in December of 2014) and the 28-year-old is attempting a comeback. A good fighter who holds wins over Alfredo Angulo and Tim Coleman, De La Rosa, if he has retained the ambition he once had, might just give Lemiuex a scare or two.
The pick has to be Lemieux, but this one could be lively while it lasts.