By Keith Idec
David Lemieux made weight without issue Friday afternoon for his fight Saturday night against Curtis Stevens.
We’ll never know, however, if Lemieux would’ve met the IBF’s second-day weigh-in obligation. Lemieux missed the IBF’s second-day weigh-in entirely Saturday morning in Verona, New York.
Handlers for Lemieux (36-3, 32 KOs), who has held the IBF middleweight title, told Stevens’ handlers that they didn’t know about the second-day weigh-in for their 12-round middleweight match. In accordance with IBF rules, fighters cannot weigh more than 10 pounds over their division’s limit at weigh-ins conducted the morning after an official weigh-in.
In this case, Lemieux, 28, and Stevens, 32, couldn’t weigh more than 170 pounds because the middleweight limit is 160. Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) weighed in Saturday morning at 167¼ pounds.
They were supposed to fight for the IBF North American middleweight title in their HBO “Boxing After Dark” main event at Turning Stone Resort Casino. That minor championship only will be on the line for Stevens now that Lemieux has failed to weigh in a second time.
Montreal’s Lemieux, who has had well-documented difficulties making the middleweight limit, weighed in at 159 pounds Friday afternoon. That was the lowest he has officially weighed for a fight since he weighed 159 prior to his seventh-round technical knockout defeat to Mexico’s Marco Antonio Rubio in April 2011.
Brooklyn’s Stevens weighed in at 158¼ pounds Friday.
His absence at Saturday’s second weigh-in could mean Lemieux added a significant amount of weight following Friday’s weigh-in, which could give him a size advantage over Stevens once they enter the ring late Saturday night.
“It’s very unprofessional of Lemieux,” said Jolene Mizzone, vice president of operations for Main Events, Stevens’ promoter. “For Lemieux to have said all these bad things about Curtis, and then to do this, it’s just not professional. After the weigh-in [Friday], as a professional Curtis watched what he ate, followed the IBF’s rules and did what he was supposed to do this morning. It’s a shame Lemieux didn’t do the same thing.”
HBO’s broadcast is set to start at 11 p.m. ET with a 10-rounder that’ll match Cuban-born junior lightweight contender Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1, 17 KOs) against Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado (24-7, 16 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.