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Lemieux fails to make weight, De La Rosa fight is off

David LemieuxBy Dan Ambrose: Moments ago, it was reported that former IBF 160lb world champion David Lemieux failed to make weight for his non-title contest against James De La Rosa. Lemieux-De La Rosa were supposed to be fighting each other this Saturday night on March 12 in a scheduled 10 round bout at the Olympia Theatre in Montreal, Canada.

However, Lemieux came in over the three agreed upon 163lb catch-weight limit Lemieux weighed in at 165.6lbs to De La Rosa’s 162.

According to the montrealgazette.com, the promoters for the two fighters were unable to strike a deal. Lemieux’s promoter Camille Estephan couldn’t broker a deal with De La Rosa’s promoter Adrian Clark. An offer of a 40% increase in De La Rosa’s purse was made. However, that didn’t work.

“Estephan is attempting to find another opponent for Lemieux, but vowed the show will go on,” said the montrealgazzette.com. “If necessary, Estephan said a bout between Steven Butler and Sladjan Janjanin, would be the 10-round main event.”

It’s really not surprising that Lemieux failed to make the 163lb catch-weight limit. I think Lemieux has pretty much outgrown the middleweight division whether he wants to admit it or not. If you remember how big Lemieux looked in the run up to his recent fight against Gennady Golovkin last October, and how big Lemieux looked in the ring on the night of the fight, it’s clear to me that he needs to move up to 168. You can argue that one of the biggest reasons why Lemieux struggled so badly against Golovkin was because of all the weight that Lemieux had to take off to get down to the 160lb weight limit. He looked like a dead man walking on the day of the weigh-in. Lemieux looked totally drained, and I thought to myself that there would be no way that he would be able to put up a decent fight with the way he looked. Sure enough, I was right. Lemieux fought like someone who had no energy whatsoever and he lost badly.

The problem for Lemieux is that he’s really only 5’9 1/2″, and that’s very short for the super middleweight division. the only way he can succeed in that weight class is if he goes after the 5’9″ WBO champion Arthur Abraham. Lemieux wouldn’t be so undersized against Abraham. But if Lemieux faces James DeGale or Badou Jack, I see him being way too short for either of those taller fighters.

I suspect that Lemieux is going to stay at 160 until the bitter end. I think he’ll do whatever he can to keep melting down to that weight class, but I don’t think he’s going to be effective. Lemieux is just too heavy to be taking all that weight off to fight in that division. Lemieux will certainly keep trying to make weight for his middleweight contests, but I see him getting diminishing returns.

You know things are bad when Lemieux can’t even make a catch-weight of 163lbs. That catch-weight was designed to give Lemieux a chance to make weight, but I had a feeling that he wasn’t going to make the weight. At final press conference, Lemieux still looked like a light heavyweight and I knew there was going to be a big time problem unless he had a way of losing a massive amount of weight within 24 hours of the fight. Taking off huge amounts of weight in a short period of time is potentially dangerous, and almost impossible to do.

The one good thing that comes of Lemieux not making weight is that it was a small-time fight and not a lot of fans were excited about the contest. De La Rosa isn’t a top contender, and hadn’t fought since 2014, when he was beaten by Hugo Centeno Jr. by a 5th round knockout. If this was a major contender that Lemieux was facing, then it would have been a much bigger deal for him to not make weight. Never the less, it’s troubling that Lemieux couldn’t even make a catch-weight of 163lbs, and it further cements my belief that he needs to think seriously about moving up to the 168lb division, where he’ll have a better chance of making weight. I honestly see Lemieux as another Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in terms of body size. I think Lemieux will struggle eventually to even make weight at 168. He might wind up in the 175lb division one of these days because the guy is huge when he’s fully rehydrated.

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