Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux will have a lot of the line when he returns to the ring.
BoxingScene.com reported on Tuesday, that a deal was finalized for Lemieux to challenge WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) in an HBO televised main event on December 16th.
According to sources in Canada, the frontrunner to host the contest is Bell Place in Laval - which is located near Montreal.
Besides a crack at Saunders, there could even be a bigger opportunity at stake for Lemieux if everything falls in line.
According to promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, a world title win by Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) could put him in position for a major pay-per-view fight against Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs).
De La Hoya promotes both Lemieux and Canelo.
The Golden Boy exec is attempting to finalize a rematch between Canelo and IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin for next May. The two boxers fought to a controversial twelve round draw last month at T-Mobile in Las Vegas.
If De La Hoya is unable to reach an agreement for that rematch, and Lemieux wins in December, that could open up the door to match his two boxers in the ring. Winning the WBO title, which is the only belt not possessed by Golovkin, would give Canelo some added bargaining power.
“What a great fight for Lemieux and Saunders, and for boxing to finish this great year,” De La Hoya told the Los Angeles Times. “This is great, too, for the division that already has Canelo and Triple-G [Golovkin].”
“This fight’s a tremendous opportunity for Lemieux. He’d become the missing piece of the puzzle. I do want to come to terms and make that rematch [for Canelo] with [Golovkin], but if we can’t come to terms … and Lemieux looks spectacular in winning the title from Saunders, that’s another option for Canelo."