David Lemieux and Gennady Golovkin’s title unification is just a few weeks away, and Lemieux’s team is showing no signs of fear for the “GGGoliath” they are pitting their David against come October 17.
If anything, Lemieux’s team might be expressing signs of overconfidence in their man as they spoke to the boxing media in an open workout in Montreal. Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions and co-promoter of the bout, believes that the anticipated toe-to-toe shootout will play into Lemieux’s favor.
“I believe it is going to be easier than N’Dam because of his [Golovkin’s] style,” De La Hoya said. “N’Dam was a long range fighter and was using his distance, and I believe David will knock out Golovkin.”
Lemieux (34-2, 31 KO’s) has been given what most experts call a puncher’s chance in beating Golovkin (33-0, 30 KO’s) who has reigned supreme inside his middleweight division. His middleweight division because virtually no other fighter in the 160-pound weight limit, without catch-weights, is expected to pose any real threat to Golovkin. Although his biggest wins may very well be against England’s Martin Murray and Australia’s Daniel Geale, which is not saying much.
But it is not any single win in his resume that makes Golovkin stand out, rather the accumulation of sound destruction he has left in his wake. Stringing along knockout after knockout to the point where hardcore fans expect him to demolish his weaker opposition in a matter of ten minutes or less.
Lemieux poses the biggest physical threat GGG has faced since his 2013 fight with the Brownsville bomber Curtis Stevens (27-5, 20 KO’s). Golovkin stopped Stevens in eight rounds but not before withstanding powerful hooks to the face and in turn dropping Stevens in the second round, producing a gasping look from the fallen slugger whose eyes and mouth resembled a ghostly gaze as he drug himself off the canvas.
Still, Lemieux insists that Golovkin has yet to meet another fighter with his capabilities and expects to become the next great middleweight champion.
“Golovkin has not faced a fighter like me before,” Lemieux said. “I am an aggressive fighter, and I am confident in my abilities. I feel that I will be successful on Oct. 17.”
GPB Vice President, Eric Gomez, said he expects a sellout crowd of 20,000 people to be in attendance at Madison Square Garden to watch the two middleweight champs.
“All the greats have fought at Madison Square Garden, but here you have two foreigners who will sell out the area,” Gomez said. “ . . . They have transcended borders.”
Former undisputed middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins believes that Lemieux’s style will win over the fans in New York and that Lemieux’s stock has already risen in Philadelphia.
“They love his forward style,” Hopkins said.
Lemieux’s head trainer Marc Ramsay has gone so far as to say that Lemieux is still surprising him in training camp, trying to insinuate that his man is continually getting better. At 26, Lemieux is still young in boxing years, and he may very well be making strides as he gains more experience.
“He is they type of fighter that comes into the gym every day and works at a level above every day,” Ramsay said of his ward. ” . . .David is known for his power in the ring, but he surprises me.”
Still though the most verbally confident person in Lemieux’s corner is his promoter De La Hoya, who is likely trying to sell the fight and in doing so, overselling his fighter.
“This is the fight of his life, the one he has been waiting for to take him to the next level,” De La Hoya said. “Yes, it is not an easy one but is a fight that David can win.”
Hard to believe considering De La Hoya probably has more invested in Lemieux than anybody. If Lemieux wins not only will De La Hoya have the only unified champ in the division but also a potential cross over star. Lemieux is a good-looking, young, fan-friendly fighter and should he get past Golovkin he would have already dealt with the terror of the division.
Danny Jacobs and Peter Quillin are fighting across the promotional pond, and it is likely that neither would leave the guidance of Al Haymon to face the winner of October 17. That leaves the winner of Cotto-Canelo to fight the winner of Lemieux-Golovkin and should Canelo win, GBP would have two champions and three of the sanctioning belts to lure other name fighters to their side for a big-money fight.
Even with Lemieux’s promotional backing and physical prowess he is expected to be the underdog, but boxing is unique in that a single punch either way can sway the fight, the fans and an athlete’s career. Lemieux may only have a puncher’s chance but in boxing, champions have made due with less.