On April 7, Golden Boy Promotions won the purse bid for the Hassan N’Dam (31-1, 18 knockouts) vs. David Lemieux (33-2, 31 knockouts) fight. The winning bid of $102,000 turned out to be only bid put on the table at the IBF headquarters.
Lemieux and N’Dam will be fighting for the vacant IBF middleweight title that was previously held by Jermain Taylor. On February 6, Taylor was stripped of the IBF title hours before he was originally scheduled to make his first defense against former junior middleweight titlist Sergio Mora.
Taylor was stripped due to his involvement in two gun-related incidents – the alleged shooting of his cousin in August at his home. Also an incident in January in which he allegedly discharged a firearm and threatened to shoot a family during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Lemieux, ranked No. 4 by the IBF, initially wanted to challenge Miguel Cotto for his WBC title, but once Jermain Taylor ran into legal problems, and Billy Joe Saunders passed up on the opportunity to fight N’Dam, Lemieux couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fight the best.
Hassan N’Dam is a dangerous animal for David Lemieux. The NABF middleweight champion has plenty of power, as we have seen on display throughout his career, but N’Dam is a pure boxer, he’s quick, and he offsets his opponents’ rhythm, especially amongst offensive fighters.
In 2011, Lemieux fought Marco Antonio Rubio. In the seventh round, Lemieux got caught with an overhand right and couldn’t recover.
Referee Marlon Wright was forced to halt the fight as Lemieux was not retaliating as he was being smothered against the ropes.
That kind of weakness plays right into the hands of Hassan N’Dam. Regardless, I believe the fight will be competitive. Lemieux will come right out of the gate to land some big shots on the tall, lengthy N’Dam. Curtis Stevens employed that strategy and found some success early on, but once he lost that range, there was no catching him.
For Lemieux – he has to set the pace early and not allow N’Dam to extend those arms – N’Dam will pick any guy apart if given the chance. N’Dam doesn’t have the strongest of chins either. In his 2012 fight for the WBO World Middleweight title against Peter Quillin, N’Dam was down six times and was also went down against Giovanni Lorenzo. Two solid fighters fighting for a world championship with similar strengths and similar weaknesses. I don’t think this fight will go the distance. What do you guys think?