By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – David Lemieux looked like he was well on his way Saturday night to his second early, spectacular knockout in eight weeks.
After assaulting Marcos Reyes for the first four rounds, however, Lemieux slowed down somewhat and settled for a convincing 10-round, unanimous-decision win on the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. undercard at T-Mobile Arena. Each of the three judges – Eric Cheek (99-90), Burt Clements (98-91) and Glenn Trowbridge (99-90) – scored Lemieux a wide winner.
Montreal’s Lemieux improved to 38-3, but Mexico’s Reyes (35-5, 26 KOs) took him the 10-round distance for the second time in Lemieux’s past three fights.
Even without a knockout, Lemieux was impressive against Reyes, despite that their fight came just eight weeks since Lemieux’s previous fight. The former IBF middleweight champion scored a spectacular third-round knockout against Curtis Stevens in that March 11 bout in Verona, New York.
The 28-year-old Lemieux attempted to knock out Reyes in the final two rounds, but appeared tired. He landed several hard punches in those rounds, but the gutsy Reyes made it to the final bell.
Referee Robert Byrd deducted a point from Reyes for hitting Lemieux after the bell to end the eighth round. Lemieux retaliated by throwing a punch at Reyes, but Byrd didn’t penalize Lemieux.
Lemieux stunned Reyes with separate right hands within the first half of the seventh round, but the resilient Reyes survived yet another round. Reyes got back into the fight somewhat in the fifth and sixth rounds, as Lemieux’s punch output decreased and Reyes landed several effective punches, particularly to Lemieux’s body.
Lemieux knocked out Reyes’ mouthpiece with about 1:25 to go in the fourth round. At least during the fourth round, though, Reyes offered some resistance, much more than he had during any of the first three rounds.
The hard-hitting Lemieux’s vicious assault in the third round forced a bleeding, battered Reyes to all but run around the ring. Lemieux hammered away at Reyes’ body with less than a minute remaining in the third and Reyes held as best he could to halt the beating.
By the second round, Lemieux opened a long, deep gash over Reyes’ right eyebrow and had him moving all around the ring as he tried whatever he could to stay out of the heavy-handed Lemieux’s punching range.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.