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David Lemieux in discussions for Canelo Alvarez’s opponent on September 12

Canelo Alvarez David Lemieux

By Kenneth Friedman: David Lemieux is in discussions as an opponent for Canelo Alvarez for his next fight on September 12. The talks are still at the early stages of the Canelo-Lemieux fight.

Former IBF middleweight champion Lemieux’s promoter Camille Estephan revealed to the Journal Quebec that he’s in talks with Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez at putting the fight together with Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs).

It’s still not a done deal that the 31-year-old Lemieux (41-4, 34 KOs) will be Canelo’s next opponent. Whether Lemieux and Estephan agree to take the fight will depend on the offer. Estephan says Lemieux won’t take the match against Canelo at a bargain.

The Canadian Lemieux is ranked #3 by the World Boxing Council at 168, and he’s won his last three fights since losing to former WBO 160-lb champion Billy Joe Saunders by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in December 2017.

Canelo Alvarez David Lemieux

Will Lemieux come cheap?

Canelo, 29, needs an opponent that will come cheap due to his next contest taking place behind closed doors without fans. The pandemic is making it impossible for Canelo to fight in front of a live crowd for his September 12 fight, which is why Golden Boy is looking for a cheap option.

Canelo’s promoters wanted WBO super middleweight champion, Billy Joe Saunders, to begin with, but the pandemic got in the way of the fight getting made for last May.

Although there’s interest on Canelo and Golden Boys side on still making the fight with Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs), it’s not happening. Saunders already pulled his name out of the list to be considered for Canelo’s next fight.

“David is indeed in the discussions,” said Lemieux’s promoter Camille Estephan to the Journal de Montréal. I spoke to Eric Gomez (one of the bosses of Golden Boy) on Thursday about this.

“We are still at the early stage in this file. It will depend on the offers made to us. One thing’s for sure, David is not going to fight for a bargain.”

Canelo vs. Lemieux is a fight that Golden Boy Promotions has talked about wanting to make for ages now, and they finally got a chance to do it.

Unfortunately, there won’t be a lot of interest from U.S boxing fans in seeing Canelo fight Lemieux, whose 15 minutes of fame ended five years ago when Gennadiy Golovkin stopped him in the eighth round in December 2015. That fight was so one-sided that it was boring.

Saunders embarrassed Lemieux in 2017

Lemieux has won seven out of his last eight fights since his loss to GGG. His one loss over the previous three years came against Billy Joe Saunders in 2017. Saunders schooled Lemieux in that fight, and it was hard to watch.

With Lemieux’s history of having problems making weight and suffering injuries in training camp, it’ll be risky for Golden Boy Promotions to sign him as Canelo’s opponent or September 12. But as long as Golden Boy understands what’s in store for them in using Lemieux as Canelo’s opponent, then they won’t be as surprised if he pulls out.

Canelo Alvarez David Lemieux

Lemieux looks pretty shot at this point in his career, and Canelo and his promoters Eric Gomez and Oscar De La Hoya could be asking for trouble. Picking Lemieux could blow up in De La Hoya, and Gomez’s face. We saw that happen in Canelo’s fights against Sergey Kovalev and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

A better choice for Canelo would be for Golden Boy to pick former two-time middleweight world title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko. He’s coming off of an exciting 12 round decision loss to Golovkin.

A lot of people think Derevyanchenko deserved the win in that fight, and they want to see him get a second chance. He would need to come up in weight to 168 to face Canelo, but he likely would.

Canelo would have problems with Derevyanchenko

Derevyanchenko would be a hard fight for Canelo because the 2008 Olympian is capable of doing a lot of different things to disrupt his game. Unlike Gennady Golovkin, Derevyanchenko adapts constantly. He doesn’t show the same look round after round the way GGG does. Also, Derevyanchenko is a better body puncher than Canelo. That may sound crazy, but it’s true.

Derevyanchenko learns quickly. His trainer Andre Rozier has turned him into arguably the best body puncher in the 160-pound division. They don’t call Derevyanchenko ‘The Technician” for nothing.

He’s a smart guy that learns quickly and doesn’t ignore the things that are taught to him. He used them inside the ring, and he follows instructions well during the fights. That’s been Golovkin’s problem. He doesn’t adapt well to what’s going on in fights, and that’s held him back.

Derevyanchenko vs. Canelo would be a toss-up fight, as long as the judging was quality.

John Ryder volunteered on Thursday to face Canelo in September, but it’s unclear whether Golden Boy would be interested. Ryder is coming off of a loss to Callum Smith.

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