Two big punchers were in action last night in Quebec, Canada, as former IBF middleweight champ David Lemieux and unbeaten heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov picked up wins that came well inside the distance. 31-year-old Lemieux, having his first fight of the year, stopped an overmatched foe in Francy Ntetu in the fifth round.
Lemieux won his fourth fight on the spin since his December 2017 decision loss to Billy Joe Saunders. Lemieux had Ntetu of the Democratic Republic of The Congo stuck on the ropes and he sent him down and out. Time was 1:58 of the fifth round and Lemieux is now 44-5(35). 38-year-old Ntetu falls to 17-4(4) with all four of his defeats coming via stoppage.
Lemieux can still punch, we know that, but as to whether or not he can become a world champion again, the jury is out. Lemieux went down earlier in the fight, yet the call made by the referee said he had slipped. Lemieux remains a big name in Canada and elsewhere and considering he was fighting rust last night he didn’t look too bad. In top shape, against better opposition, Lemieux could still be a player in 2021.
Up at heavyweight, unbeaten 31-year-old Russian giant Arslanbek Makhmudov took out Canadian heavyweight champ Dillon Carman in a round. The 6’6” Russian dropped 34 year old Carman with a hard jab with just seconds gone. Carman beat the count yet the referee decided to end matters. Time was just :27 seconds. Makhmudov is now 11-0(11). Carman, who once defeated a faded Razor Ruddock, falls to 14-6(13).
Big things are expected of Makhmudov. A good amateur, the 31-year-old went pro in December of 2017, being signed by Eye Of The Tiger. In his fight prior to last night, Makhmudov took out a faded Samuel Peter, this also in one round, back in December. It’s clear Makhmudov has power, size and strength. Certainly, a heavyweight to keep an eye on.
Earlier this week, Makhmudov’s promoter Camille Estephan spoke with Sky Sports, stating how “Lion,” as his new heavyweight is known, will “install fear in the heavyweight division.”
It’s not clear if last night’s performance by Makhmudov achieved that.