Lemieux an option for Canelo in September
By Dan Ambrose: Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs( could put himself in position to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 16 if he beats Marcos Reyes on May 6 on the undercard of the Canelo vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card on HBO pay-per-view. Lemieux would be the Plan-B for Canelo if a fight against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin doesn’t get made. Lemieux isn’t the only option that Golden Boy has for Canelo to fight in September besides GGG. There’s also a very real possibility of a rematch against Chavez Jr.
If Canelo loses to Chavez Jr. or if the fight is competitive and makes a ton of money, then it’s very likely that Golden Boy will pull the trigger on that fight. Either way, it’s quite possible that Golovkin will need to wait until 2018 or later for a fight against Canelo.
This is a fight that the 28-year-old Lemieux would very much like against Canelo, but it’ll be up to their mutual promoters at Golden Boy to decide whether to put them in with each other. Golden Boy is already putting Lemieux in position where he can be seen by a lot of boxing fans by having him fight in the co-feature of the Canelo-Chavez Jr. card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lemieux being with Golden Boy makes a fight between him and Canelo a very tempting one for the Oscar De La Hoya led company to make. It would be an in house fight for Golden Boy to put Lemieux in with Canelo. It would also be a safer fight for him than if they went ahead and put Canelo in with Golovkin.
You have to realize that Canelo is Golden Boy’s No.1 money fighter right now. If Canelo gets blasted apart by Golovkin, which could very well happen, then Golden Boy could see his money making ability greatly reduced. Look at Manny Pacquiao of Top Rank. He still hasn’t brought his pay-per-view numbers back from the point they were at before his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015.
You can point some fingers at Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, who hasn’t matched him in compelling fights since the Mayweather loss. Never the less, Canelo could find himself in the same boat as Pacquiao with his PPV numbers dropping off if he gets knocked out badly by Golovkin in a one-sided. We don’t know for sure if Golovkin’s recent lackluster performance against Daniel Jacobs was him fighting at half-speed or not in order to increase the chances of Golden Boy finally letting Canelo fight him.
“Following his performance against Curtis Stevens … fight fans wanted to see David in the ring again as soon as possible,” said Lemieux’s co-promoter Camille Estephan in press release news. “Being part of such a tremendous card that will be featured on May 6 with eyes on us from all around the world represents an incredible showcase opportunity. We are convinced that David will shine. He is in great shape and is more motivated than ever to conquer the top of the middleweight division.”
Estephan is correct about Lemieux being in a showcase fight against Marcos Reyes. It’s the perfect fight for Lemieux to show his boxing skills in an especially favorable light. In other words, to make Lemieux look better fighter than he actually is. We already saw Lemieux fail in the past in losing to Golovkin by an 8th round knockout in 2015, and we also saw him get beaten by Marco Antonio Rubio and Joachim Alcine in 2011.
Putting Lemieux in with Reyes isn’t even a fair fight in my opinion. Reyes is 2-2 in his last 4 fights. He was beaten by Chavez Jr. in 2015 and journeyman Elvin Ayala in 2016. Reyes is not in the position to do much of anything against Lemieux other than to lose. Ayala knocked Reyes out in 7 rounds last year. Chavez Jr. suffered a fractured left hand in their fight 2 years ago; otherwise he likely would have knocked him out as well.
Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler would do well to make a fight between him and WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders for June 10. If Loeffler blows it by not making that fight, he could end up with nothing for Golovkin. He might not get Canelo or Saunders, in which case he would be stuck having to fight his IBF mandatory challenger Tureano Johnson. Boxing fans might not know this, but Johnson is very, very tough opponent. I think he’s better than Daniel Jacobs.
Honestly, I think Johnson would beat Jacobs if that fight took place. I don’t see Jacobs getting anywhere near Tureano Johnson. But that’s who Golovkin could be stuck with in his next fight if Loeffler doesn’t make a deal with Saunders for a unification fight. Golovkin has been burned before in trying to get a fight against Canelo last year. You’d think that he would have learned by now that it doesn’t pay to plan on the Canelo fight happening, because it likely won’t.
I think the only way the Canelo-Golovkin fight does happen is when Golovkin is in the same position that Chavez Jr., James Kirkland and Amir Khan were in when they were selected by Golden Boy Promotions to fight Canelo. When those fighters were not in the best position in terms of their careers, they were selected by Golden Boy to fight Canelo. I think it could be the same situation with Golovkin. Right now, I believe Golovkin is still fighting at too high of a level for him to get the fight with Canelo. That’s why I see Lemieux or Chavez Jr. being the one that faces Canelo on September 16. There are a lot of boxing fans that will be upset if Golovkin gets passed over for the Canelo fight in September but that this point, I think the only thing you can expect is what we’ve seen from Golden Boy in the past. That means no Golovkin fight in September. He’s still looking too good.