By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – David Lemieux more than did his part Saturday night.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya put Lemieux on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin undercard with the intention of matching Alvarez against Lemieux if Alvarez beat Golovkin in their middleweight championship rematch. De La Hoya said it’s “very possible” Lemieux could be Alvarez’s next opponent following the Mexican superstar’s majority-decision victory over Golovkin at T-Mobile Arena.
That’s exactly what Lemieux wanted to hear following his one-punch, first-round knockout of Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan.
“A fight with Canelo is something I’m extremely interested in,” Lemieux said. “I think it would be a great opportunity for me to show the world what I’ve got.”
Montreal’s Lemieux is just two fights and nine months removed from WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders completely out-classing him in their 12-round title fight. England’s Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), a skillful southpaw Lemieux hardly touched, soundly defeated Lemieux by unanimous decision December 16 in Laval, Quebec, Canada.
But like Alvarez, Lemieux is promoted by De La Hoya’s company. The 29-year-old Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) also became the WBA’s mandatory challenger for Alvarez’s middleweight title by beating Ireland’s O’Sullivan (28-3, 20 KOs), whom he knocked out with a vicious left hook.
De La Hoya has a December 15 date available for Alvarez’s return, but that probably will be too soon for him to fight again. Alvarez could make more than $50 million from his rematch versus Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), a brutal battle in which he suffered a cut over his left eye.
“We have to analyze the situation first,” De La Hoya said. “We have to talk with [Alvarez’s] team. Obviously there’s a cut. We’ve gotta deal with the doctors, deal with the situation. But it’s a potential fight and he’s a worthy contender.”
Lemieux’s limitations would make him a big underdog against Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), but the former IBF 160-pound champion is one of boxing’s most powerful punchers and thus dangerous.
“Big congratulations to Canelo, who fought an excellent fight tonight against Golovkin in the rematch,” Lemieux said. “I thought it was a fair play that he won the fight. It was a great fight and also, [Canelo is] someone I’m extremely interested in. So hopefully [I’ll have] a fight against him in the near future. Hopefully the fans will demand it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.