David Lemieux vs. Tureano Johnson – preview & prediction
By Jeff Aranow: David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) is totally unconcerned about the threat posed to him by his opponent Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs) this Saturday on DAZN. Lemieux will be fighting Johnson in a 12 round bout on the undercard of Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden in New York. There are reportedly still tickets on sale for the fight card.
Former IBF middleweight champion Lemieux has turned his career around recently with two victories over Karim Achour and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan. More than anything, Lemieux’s conditioning looked better in those fights than they had in his loss last year to former World Boxing Organization champion Billy Joe Saunders. Lemieux looked like he had been battling the weight to get down to the 160 pound limit for the fight. That reflected on his performance during the fight. Lemieux looked huge after he rehydrated, and it was too slow for the more mobile Saunders. That was a tough fight for Lemieux to lose, as a lot of boxing fans were picking him to KO Saunders.
“I’ve learned a lot. I believe I’m at my peak. The greatest years are yet to come for me,” Lemieux said at the final press conference. “Saturday night will be a step towards that. I promise everyone a great fight.”
Lemieux has always been a good fighter. The only things that have held him back during his career is his conditioning, and his habit of punching himself out early. If Lemieux’s weight is on point, and his conditioning is there, he’ll be a real handful for the 34-year-old Tureano on Saturday night on DAZN. The other thing that Lemieux needs to be conscious of is to pace himself. Lemieux lost his fights against Marco Antonio Rubio and Joachim Alcine because he went for an early knockout, and wound up gassing out.
There’s a very good chance that the Lemieux-Johnson fight could turn out to be the most action-packed bout on the card. These two are evenly matched on paper, and both are expected to bring in.
Johnson will be fighting for the first time in close to two years when he steps foot inside the ring to face Lemieux on Saturday. The 2008 Olympian Johnson has had shoulder injury that has kept him out of action since his 12th round knockout loss to Sergiy Derevyanchenko on August 25, 2017. If that version of Johnson is inside the ring on Saturday, Lemieux could have a lot of problems winning that fight. Although Tureano lost the fight to Derevyanchenko by a 12th round stoppage, he showed a lot of talent and power in giving the Ukrainian fighter loads of problems. That wasn’t an easy fight for Derevyanchenko. He had to earn everything he got in that fight.
“Tureano Johnson is a great fighter, but we’ve trained extremely hard for him so we don’t have any surprises in the ring,” Lemieux said. Whatever he brings forward, I’ll take care of it.”
As always, Lemieux is confident to the extreme. That’s just him. Lemieux was the same way before his fight against former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in October 2015. Lemieux lost that fight by an 8th round knockout. He was unable to get passed GGG’s stiff jab to land his power shots in that match. That was seven fights ago, and it’s clear that Lemieux has improved a lot. However, he’s still an unpredictable fighter that can look great in one fight, and then look dreadful in his next outing. Lemieux isn’t consistent, and he seems to let under-perform in fights where he needs to be his best. In Lemieux’s fight with Billy Joe Saunders last year, there was no reason for him to come into that fight looking out of shape. Lemieux didn’t take off enough weight, and ended up getting worked over by Saunders. Lemieux can’t beat the best fighters when he’s in that kind of condition. Tureano will beat Lemieux if he’s not in top condition on Saturday night. This is the type of guy that Lemieux needs to be at his best to beat.
“It’s going to be an exciting night. I’m excited, I’m ready, I’m energized,” Johnson said. “I respect Lemieux. I have a lot of respect for him. You guys can expect an awesome fight. I’m definitely coming to bring it. Come Saturday night, they’re going to see a different Tureano – a more intelligent fighter.”
Apart from Johnson’s stoppage losses to Curtis Stevens and Derevyanchenko, he’s looked very good during his eight-year pro career. Johnson was impressive in defeating Eamonn O’Kane by a 12 round unanimous decision in 2015. O’Kane is a good fighter, but Johnson took care of him with ease.
There are some really interesting fights on Saturday’s DAZN card from Madison Square Garden in New York. Canelo, 28, moves up in weight one division to challenge WBA World super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) in the main event. Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) is riding high after his 12 round majority decision victory over former unified champion Gennady Golovkin last September. Canelo will try and keep his boxing fans excited about his career by moving up to 168 to take on one of the champions in that weight class. Fielding is still an unknown commodity for most U.S fans, being that they’ve never seen him fight before. This will be Fielding’s first fight in the U.S, so he’s hoping to impress the American fans by beating one of the most popular fighters in North America.
Lemieux’s punching power and activity will be too much for the ring rusty Johnson on Saturday. Lemieux will slowly wear the 34-year-old Johnson down and stop him in the 8th round. Johnson’s punch resistance is top notch, which will allow him to hang around a lot longer than most of Lemieux’s opponents. The ring rust that Johnson will be bringing into this fight will hurt his chances of winning.
Former World Boxing Organization junior middleweight champion Sadam ‘World Kid’ Ali (26-2, 14 KOs) faces the always tough Mauricio Herrera (24-7, 7 KOs) in a 10 round contest. This is the first fight for the 30-year-old Ali since his 4th round knockout loss earlier this year to the powerful knockout artist Jaime Munguia on May 12. Sadam lost his WBO title in that loss. He took the fight on short notice. In hindsight, it would have been better for Ali to have more preparation for the size and punching of Munguia. Is always going to be tough for Ali to take on a fighter as big as Munguia, sine this wasn’t his natural weight class. Ali is a welterweight. He had moved up in weight to challenge Miguel Cotto for the WBO title last year in December. Ali took advantage of a shoulder injury that Cotto suffered to defeat him by a 12 round decision.
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