By Clive Bernath: At just 21 years old Canadian middleweight prospect David Lemieux is slowly but surely starting to punch himself into potential world title contention and the attention of the world‘s top 160lbs boxers.
Fight fans from Montreal, where Lemieux reside have been singing his praises to anyone that will listen for quite a long time now and why shouldn’t they? After all the ’Canadian Kid’ has won all 23 of his professional fights inside the distance, and a mightily impressive 19 in the first or second rounds. That’s a knockout rate of 96%.
Admittedly, many of those early wins came against either journeymen types or fighters with padded out records. But last Friday night at the Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Lemieux stepped up in class to face the durable former world title contender Elvin Ayala and duly past his toughest test by banging out the 29 year-old after 2.44 of the opening round.
Lemieux was eager to impress, especially as he was the main attraction live on ESPN’s Friday night fights and he did not disappoint. There was no standing on ceremony as both Lemieux and Ayala raced off their stools to collide head on in the center of the ring. Both traded on equal terms behind a tight guard early on until Lemieux forced Ayala to canvas, a result of the sheer speed, volume and power of his punches. Ayala was clearly dazed but bravely soldiered on. Seconds later, Lemieux poured out the right hand and slammed in the left hook to send Ayala to the canvas for a second time. Again Ayala managed to scrabble to his feet and carry on but a third thunderous left hook floored him again and this time referee Gary Bolen immediately stopped the fight.
The fact that Ayala had on only been stopped once previously by Armenian tough guy Arthur Abraham in the 12th and final round for the IBF middleweight crown back in 2008, surely means Lemieux must no be taken seriously as a world title contender?
It remains to be seen if Lemieux can go all the way, afterall history has proved many times before that the really big punchers are fine when dishing out punishment but as soon as they step up to the highest level and the punches have little effect they often fail to adapt to plan B.
Lemieux is not just a typical one trick poney, though. He also has speed, accuracy and can adapt his style if need be, he just happens to be very heavy handed. Time will tell if the man from Montreal is the real deal. Over the next year or so I’m sure he will be sharing the ring with some of the top 160lbs fighters then we will find whether he is the real deal or just another manufactured fighter with a padded out record.
Make up your own mind just how much of a puncher Lemieux is by watching a replay of the Canadian’s fight with Ayala plus many more of his previous fights by Clicking here
June 13, 2010