David Lemieux vs. Karim Achour on May 26
By Jeff Aranow: Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) will be looking to take a confidence booster fight next month against 31-year-old journeyman Karim Achour (26-4-3, 4 KOs) in a 12 round fight on May 26 for the vacant World Boxing Council Francophone middleweight title at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada.
This could be a tough fight for Lemieux, as Achour has never been knocked out before in his 10-year pro career.
It’s important that the 29-year-old Lemieux pick up a win right now to revive his career following his embarrassing 12 round unanimous decision loss in his last fight to WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on December 16 last year. Lemieux looked like he wasn’t in the best of shape for that fight, and he didn’t have the speed or the training to deal with all the movement that Saunders was using.
If Lemieux is going to be effective as a contender in the division, he’s going to need to figure out how to deal with boxers like Saunders, because it was disappointing to see him get beaten so soundly. The loss for Lemieux really took a lot of air out of his career.
Lemieux’s co-promoters at Golden Boy Promotions are going to look to get his career back to where it was before his loss to Saunders. They had done a good job of building Lemieux back up with four consecutive wins following an 8th round knockout loss to Gennady Golovkin in October 2015. Lemieux lost his IBF 160 lb. title in that defeat. It took two years for Golden Boy to rebuild Lemieux. Perhaps this time they can get the job done faster by matching Lemieux against some good contenders to have him ready to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez in 2019. That’s a fight that Lemieux can make a lot of money if he’s able to get a couple of fast wins under his belt.
If Lemieux can make weight for the fight against France’s Achour, then he should try and stay at middleweight for as long as possible. If Lemieux continues to struggle at making the 160 lb. weight limit, then he should seriously think about moving up to super middleweight where he’ll have more power. The only problem with Lemieux fighting at super middleweight is his lack of height and reach.
Lemieux would be very small for the weight class, and it might be difficult for him to compete with the bigger guys like George groves, Callum Smith, Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez and David Benavidez. Those are all very big fighters with a lot of power, and Lemieux might be less of a factor in that division than he is at 160.
Achour has won his last eight fights since 2015 against weak opposition. Achour has losses to Lukas Konceny, Martin Murray and Nabiel Bouneb. Achour’s last defeat took place in 2013 against Konecny. The biggest win of Achour’s career was a 10 round unanimous decision victory over Julien Marie Sainte in November 2013. Sainte was a contender at one time, but his career went to pieces after losing a third-round knockout to Max Bursak in February 2013.