David Benavidez inflicted a three-round beating on David Lemieux in Glendale, Arizona last night.
The WBC Interim Super Middleweight title was up for grabs in a fight that saw youth, size and power prove to be too much for a veteran warrior who wouldn’t stop until referee Harvey Dock ended matters himself.
From the outset Benavidez’ height advantage was apparent as Lemieux had to punch upwards to a seismic target that threw everything he had with savagery.
In the opening moments of round one Lemieux backed up his fight week statement of wanting a war by taking the fight to Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs). It was a bold tactic which ultimately would prove to be his undoing. Benavidez got to work not long after with clubbing one-twos and thudding body
shots that could be clearly heard hitting his opponent’s flesh.
Lemieux (43-5, 36 KOs) refused to be overwhelmed by the task or the partisan crowd who helped to bring out the best in Benavidez.
The 25-year-old was doing a good job of countering the Canadian and wobbled him in the final seconds of the first. The result saw Lemieux stagger back, Benavidez jumped in for the early night trebling, quadrupling left hands on to his battered opponent in the corner. The combinations and
speed tore through Lemieux but the bell saved him.
Benavidez landed a stiff jab backed up by a right hand in round two, but Lemieux chose fire with fire.
The smell of blood and victory grew bigger for the unbeaten contender who landed another powerful right which then brought out a left uppercut which dropped Lemieux through the ropes and almost out of the ring. “Show me something,” the concerned referee told the former
The punishment continued for the rest of the round. Lemieux was taking a beating but the spirit and heart he showed was nothing short of courageous because he was getting busted up at every moment.
It could not go on much longer and nor it did. Lemieux once again stepped up to Benavidez by putting his jab to work but a straight left and uppercut came back at him putting Lemieux into a corner. Remarkably the 33-year-old gambled again with a combination but in doing so felt the full
force of a huge right hand that punched the spirit out of him and while still on his feet was saved from more brutality.
Had Benavidez laboured to a points win or struggled with Lemieux then the knives would have been out for the former two-time champion but he showed no mercy and was a savage. Far more competitive tests are out there at 168lbs, but his size and wrecking ball power are a problem for
anyone including undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez.
“I feel like I’m the strongest 168 pounder, nobody can mess with me,” Benavidez told Showtime’s Jim Gray post-fight.
“He’s a special type of breed,” said the victor paying tribute to Lemieux. “This guy was swinging till the end. He’s a great champion. Tough, tough fighter. Hats off to David Lemieux because he’s the only one who had the balls to take the fight with me.
When asked about his fellow rivals Benavidez pulled no punches. I’m waiting for [Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo, David Morrell] to sign the contract. Them bitches know what’s up. I’m right here waiting for them. I’ll put myself up against everyone. I guarantee I’m knocking everyone out.”