By Sean Jones: David Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) will be looking to win the interim WBC super-middleweight title next month against former IBF 160-lb champion David Lemieux (43-4, 36 KOs) and show the fans that he’s the #1 fighter in the 168-lb division on May 21st.
Bivol vs. Lemieux will be headlining on SHOWTIME at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
During this week’s virtual press conference, Lemieux already looked like a beaten fighter, with his right eye blackened from what appears to be from sparring and showing very little energy or enthusiasm.
The Canadian fighter Lemieux looked like he needed a couple of strong cups of coffee to give him some badly-needed energy during the press conference, but Sean Jones doubts that would help.
When Lemieux fought Gennadiy Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders, he was excited during the build-up to those fights.
Not this time. Lemieux looks like someone going into a fight they know they can’t win, and it’s hard to blame him.
If this were Canelo Alvarez, he would be in the same boat fighting Benavidez and standing no real chance of winning apart from a controversial decision.
Benavidez, 25, already views himself ahead of undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo, so he wants to beat the star to prove to the fans what he’s known for a long time.
Canelo, of course, has shown no interest in letting Benavidez expose him, so he’s moved up to 175 to challenge WBA champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7th.
Here’s the thing. When Canelo returns to the 168, it won’t be to face Benavidez. He’ll be facing 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin, assuming the Mexican star successfully beats Bivol.
“I just want everyone to see that I’m the best in this weight class,” said Benavidez.
“I’m very excited to go into this fight against Lemieux because he’s a guy I’ve watched for a long time, and I like his style,” Benavidez said.
“We’re also fighting for the interim title, which makes the stage that much bigger. I’m just ready to go back home and win that title.
“Everyone knows me. I feel like I’m one of the best in this division and I’ve been calling out the best. That’s why I have so much respect for Lemieux because he took this fight.” @Benavidez300 #BenavidezLemieux pic.twitter.com/Ykubtky02e
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) April 26, 2022
“I see flaws in David’s game, and I’m sure he sees flaws in me,” said Benavidez. I know he wants to stop me, and I want to stop him. This is going to be an excellent fight for the fans.”
Of course, Benavidez sees flaws in Lemieux’s game. We’re talking about a guy that is a basic straight ahead slugger who has fallen apart each time he’s stepped up a level during his career.
Although Lemieux has won his last five fights, it’s come at the expense of low-level opposition.
Lemieux’s last five opponents:
- David Zegarra
- Francy Ntetu
- Maksym Bursak
- Gary O’Sullivan
- Karim Achour