May 5, 2016
David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens have both felt the wrath of Gennady Golovkin’s power punches.
Stevens (27-5, 20 knockouts) didn’t last through the ninth round after getting knocked down by Golovkin in the second round of their November 2013 bout.
Lemieux lost his International Boxing Federation middleweight belt in October at Madison Square Garden when Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) dropped him in the fifth round and finished him by technical knockout in the eighth.
So when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez said Wednesday that the older, two-belt middleweight champion Golovkin has to do more to earn his mandatory shot at Alvarez’s World Boxing Council middleweight belt, the perspective of Lemieux and Stevens was sought Thursday when they appeared at the MGM Grand for the Alvarez-Amir Khan undercard news conference.
“Triple-G not being ready for Canelo? I don’t think that’s the case,” said Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs), who will fight New Jersey’s Glen Tapia on Saturday’s HBO pay-per-view telecast at T-Mobile Arena.
“Sometimes, people have got to say whatever they want to say, but we all know Triple-G has a long amateur history, he’s a very good fighter. And it’d be a very interesting fight if he fought Canelo. Canelo has fought a lot of tough opponents, but so has Triple-G.”
Stevens said he understands Alvarez’s comments from the business standpoint. Alvarez’s November victory over four-division champion Miguel Cotto had 900,000 pay-per-view buys, while Golovkin-Lemieux had fewer than 150,000.
“Canelo, he’s the man, the pay-per-view superstar, and he is a junior-middleweight, not a true middleweight,” said Stevens, who will fight unbeaten Patrick Teixeira to open the pay-per-view. “Canelo makes the rules in this case. It’ll be a good fight if it happens.”
Who would Stevens pick?
“I’m a fan of both, so I’d rather just sit back and watch what happens,” Stevens said.
Against Teixeira, Stevens, who hasn’t fought since an October 2014 loss, said he plans to “let my hands fly … it’s a fight. Every day’s a fight. It’s regular.”
Lemieux said fighting Tapia after missing weight against James De La Rosa earlier this year could present him a big opportunity, perhaps against Alvarez.
“After what I’m going to do [Saturday], I think Canelo’s going to want to stay away from Lemieux, too,” Lemieux said. “He has a middleweight title. If he gives it up at 160, that’s what it is … we’ll see.”
De La Rosa briefly confronted Lemieux onstage at the news conference after the missed weight cost both their purses.
“I’m better than I was. The experience, the baggage … you’ve got to walk the walk to understand that extra level you need to reach as an elite fighter,” Lemieux said. “We’ve learned. We’ve polished the right things. Ready to put it in action.
“We’re prepared. We know his style is he comes [forward], loves to give a great show. So I know one thing, it’s not going to be pleasant for him once I start landing.”