Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux has a lot to lose this Friday night, when he returns to the ring as part of Eye of the Tiger Management's card in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Lemieux does not hide it: he wants to make a big statement in his fight against Peruvian boxer David Zegarra. But the 32-year-old Quebecer has, once again, no room for a lackluster performance.
"I can't lose and I have to prove I shouldn't be in the same ring as him," Lemieux (42-4, 35 KOs) said to Radio Canada.
"I care about what I'm going to bring to the table. I want to give a nice big performance, to prove to the world where I am. I want, when the rankings update, to get myself in a position to get a world championship. I want to send a good message to Zegarra. I want to show where I am."
In his third fight at 168 pounds, Lemieux (42-4, 35 KOs) can not wait for another opportunity to fight for a world championship, almost four years after his fight one-sided loss to then WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders .
Zegarra (34-4, 21 KOs) is looking to upset the odds by pulling off a big upset of his own.
Meanwhile, Lemieux is not being neglected by the sanctioning bodies. After all, he still holds the No. 3 contender positions under the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO), in addition to being in the number two spot under the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Also in action on the Mexico card, heavyweight Simon Kean (19-1, 18 KOs) will return to the ring after a hiatus of more than 16 months. Kean will face Donald Haynesworth (16-5-1, 14 KOs), in a fight scheduled for eight rounds.