Lemieux: Golovkin has a serious opponent in front of him
(Photo Credit: Rich Kane – Hoganphotos/K2 Promotions & Golden Boy Promotions) By Dan Ambrose: IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) thinks he’s being overlooked in his fight against IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) on October 17th, and he says that Golovkin had better be paying attention when he gets inside the ring with him at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Golovkin and his team have kind of been looking beyond the 26-year-old Lemieux to a potentially much bigger fight against the winner of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto fight on November 21st. There’s a lot of money involved for Golovkin if he can get to the fight against the winner of the Cotto-Canelo fight. But more important than that is the status that Golovkin would gain in beating Canelo or Cotto. It would be a big deal for him if he could do that.
“October 17 is when the clock stops,” Lemieux said via the nydailynews.com. “Don’t speak too soon when the wheels are still spinning. He [Golovkin] has a serious opponent in front of him. He better pay attention.”
The part about Golovkin needing to pay attention can also be directed at Lemieux, because he’s going to be facing the biggest puncher of his career in this fight. The only other time in which Lemieux faced a guy with good power was when he fought Marco Antonio Rubio four years ago in 2011, and Lemieux was knocked out in the 7th round in that fight. Lemieux was able to unload on Rubio with a lot of heavy shots for the first five rounds of the fight until gassing out in the 6th.
You have to give Rubio a lot of credit for being able to take the kinds of shots that he took in that fight, because not too many other fighters would have been able to take that kind of punishment without getting stopped. Even Rubio would likely have a hard time taking the kinds of shots that he did back then. However, Golovkin is a much better puncher than Rubio though, and Lemieux is going to have a hard time unloading his shots like he did in his past fights, because he’ll be putting his chin on the line if he tries to throw a lot of power shots.
Lemieux doesn’t like the idea that WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto is fighting at a catch-weight of 155lbs in his next fight against Canelo. Lemieux thinks that they should be fighting at the full weight of 160lbs if they’re going to be fighting with the WBC middleweight title on the line.
“Cotto, he shouldn’t be fighting at middleweight,” Lemieux said via the nydailynews.com. “If you want to fight at middleweight, make 160. You’re a middleweight. Don’t be fighting at catch-weights. It’s middleweight. You want to be at 155,154 – you’re scared. But you want to have the status of a middleweight. You’re not a real middleweight. If you’re scared to fight at 160 and you want to have the status of a middleweight but you don’t want to make 160, then you shouldn’t be at middleweight.”
Cotto, 34, admitted recently that he’s not a middleweight, so I guess he justifies fighting at catch-weights while holding down the WBC title. The catch-weights really turn Cotto’s title defenses into a sub-category for the middleweight division. You can’t see it as a true middleweight fight if you’re fighting at less than the full weight for the division. Technically, the Cotto-Canelo fight is seen as a middleweight fight due to it taking place at 155, which is one pound into the middleweight division. But when you limit the weight by having a catch-weight, it does seem like a kind of weak thing to do, especially with the WBC middleweight title being on the line.
Lemieux says Golovkin is looking past him, but you can make an argument that Lemieux is looking past Golokvin. Why else would Lemieux be concerned about Cotto’s weights for his fights if he’s not thinking about what could potentially happen to him if he winds up beating Golovkin to become the WBC mandatory challenger? Lemieux doesn’t have to worry though because if he becomes the WBC mandatory challenger, he can’t be forced to agree to a catch-weight in order to get a fight against the Cotto-Canelo winner.
Cotto can force his opposition to agree to a catch-weight when he’s making a voluntary defense, but he can’t do it when he’s facing his mandatory challenger. Of course, Cotto could say that unless Lemieux or Golovkin agrees to the catch-weight, he’ll vacate the title and not give them a chance to fight him. I suppose that would work because the money they would get against Cotto would be a lot more than if they’re given the WBC title outside of the ring and then have to face the less than popular contenders the WBC has ranked in their top 15.
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