Sanchez: Lemieux doesn’t have the power that people think he does
By Jim Dower: Trainer Abel Sanchez doesn’t think that IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) is as tough or as good a puncher as a lot of boxing fans make him out to be. Sanchez thinks that KO artist Curtis Stevens is a better puncher than Lemieuix, and he thinks that it won’t be a problem for IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) to defeat the 26-year-old Lemieux in their fight on October 17th on HBO pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Golovkin defeated Stevens by an 8th round knockout last year in 2014 in a fight that was pretty much a one-sided fight from start to finish. Stevens landed some good shots early on and forced Golovkin to box with him rather than slug in the early going, but Golovkin slowly broke him down until forcing a stoppage.
“Watching Lemieux, I really don’t think he’s the kind of puncher that people make him out to be,” Sanchez said via ESPN.com. “He seems to be real wide and seems to be more of a thudding puncher (rather) than a snapping puncher.”
Lemieux is a big puncher with his left hand, but he always throws his shots in a wide manner. He doesn’t seem to have learned how to generate a lot of power by throwing straighter shots. Lemieux’s right hand is good, but not a lethal punch like his left hook.
Lemieux rarely knocks anyone out with his right hand. What’s not known is whether Lemieux can throw shorter and straighter punches against Golovkin and still generate the same kind of punching power that he has when throwing wide left hooks. If so, then this could be a very difficult fight for Golovkin.
“I don’t think (Lemieux is the toughest). I think Curtis Stevens was tougher,” Sanchez said. “Stevens is more a sharp, short puncher and compact, where Lemieux is a little wide with his shots and is a bit slower. But he is tough.”
There’s a difference in height between Stevens and Lemieux in an inch or two, but Stevens has the longer reach than Lemieux by one inch at 71” compared to Lemieux’s 70.” Stevens landed some really solid blows in his fight against Golovkin, and he had backing up at times to avoid some of the incoming shots.
Golovkin had to be careful in that fight because Stevens was loading up on every shot he threw, and he was throwing them in compact manner both wide and straight. He didn’t need to throw the wide hooks like Lemieux typically does in order to generate a lot of power.
“As soon as Lemieux feels the first jab, it’s going to be a different fight. Just like when [Golovkin] knocked Adama down with the jab), he didn’t even try to hit him hard. As soon as Lemieux tastes that first jab, it’s a different story.”
Sanchez might be overlooking Lemieux’s will power when assuming he’s going to back off from Golovkin after he gets hit with a jab. I don’t think that’s going to be the case at all. Lemieux isn’t the type to back off even when getting hit with big power shots. He took
Gabriel Rosado’s best shots and kept coming forward all night long until he stopped him. Rosado can punch. He’s not a feather-fisted fighter by any means. If Lemieux was willing to take Rosado’s best shots and still keep coming forward then the chances are very high that he’s not going to back off from Golovkin just because he gets nailed by his occasional jabs. Golovkin doesn’t throw a lot of jabs by the way. He throws some jabs, but mostly he’s looking to land his left hook and right hand.
Golovkin’s money punch is his left hook, and the only way he can land that punch is by getting near enough to his opponents to land it. That’s where Lemieux is going to have a real chance of hurting him. It doesn’t matter if Lemieux throws it wide or not.
If Lemieux lands his left hook flush, he could definitely change the complexion of this fight in an instant. Golovkin will need to be looking out for Lemieux’s left hook at all times if he wants to avoid getting knocked out in this fight because this is one of those situations where Golovkin has to worry about.