By Jake Donovan
In the span of a year, David Lemieux has gone from middleweight prospect to a career in peril after suffering back-to-back losses. The latest upset came Saturday evening, when he allowed 35-year old former junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine to outwork him en route to a majority decision at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Scores were 116-112 (twice) for Alcine in 114-114 even in their 12-round main event.
It appears that quite a bit has come off of the fastball for Lemieux in the wake of his shocking knockout loss to Marco Antonio Rubio earlier this year. His performance was still enough to get the job done against Alcine, but at times struggled far more than should have been the case with a fringe contender moving up in weight.
Once known for his lights out style, Lemieux chose to keep it closer to the vest, mixing up movement and attacking as Alcine struggled to keep up early in the bout. The power punching middleweight was more intent on showing improved footwork and defense, not quite focusing as much on his offense.
Alcine punched his way back into the fight in the fourth round, scoring with a right hand that backed Lemieux into a corner. The follow-up attack wasn’t quite as successful, but kept Lemieux from letting his hands go, which in effect served its purpose.
Momentum stayed with Alcine in the sixth, or at least the same swagger he was carrying from the previous round. Lemieux played much better defense in the round, but seemed to struggle with his opponent’s rate of activity. Alcine was feeling good and playing to the crowd, even if he wasn’t scoring very often.
Lemieux turned the fight back in his favor in the seventh, reestablishing his jab and pounding away at Alcine’s body. The middleweight contender remained in control, though not without his share of headaches as Alcine remained in face, frustrating him with mind games perhaps more so than his actual attack.
Action was a bit thin down the stretch, but benefited Alcine’s superior work rate. Lemieux threatened and threatened but never let his hands go to the point of forcing Alcine to change up his attack, and it wound up costing him in the end.
Alcine advances to 33-2-1 (19KO) with the win, easily his biggest since scoring an upset title win over Travis Simms in 2007. Having went 2-2-1 in his last five bouts going in, the 35-year old brawled his way to at least one more significant payday.
Heading in the exact opposite direction, Lemieux falls to 25-2 (24KO) with his second straight loss. The Montreal native has a long way to go before living up to previous press clippings, which were obviously way too premature – in retrospect and in reality.
UNDERCARD RESULS (FROM CHRIS LABATE)
Super middleweight Adonis Stevenson (16-1, 13KOs) once again showed his heavy hands with a very impressive stoppage win over Aaron Pryor Jr. (16-5, 11KOs) in the ninth round. Stevenson, already the NABA champion, picks up the vacant NABO title. Pryor went down three times in the fight.
Arash Usmanee (16-0, 8KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over Antonio Joao Bento (23-9-2, 12KOs) in a super featherweight contest. The scores were 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91.
Featherweight contender Tyler Asselstine (8-0, 5KOs) won a lopsided eight round decision over Phillippe Frenois (14-5-1). All three judges scored it 80-71. Asselstine was credited with a knockdown in the fourth. Frenois lost a point in the fifth for intentional use of the head.
Light heavyweight Eleider Alvarez (7-0, 5KOs) stopped Emiliano Cayetano (21-4) in the first round to capture the vacant NABO title.
Heavyweight Didier Bence (4-0, 2KOs) won a four round unanimous decision over Sandy Pembroke (1-4). All three judges scored it 40-35. There were no knockdowns, but Bence was winning the fight so one-sided in the finish that all three judges tipped him a 10-8 score. Bence returns to action quick, next week at the Pepsi Coliseum.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]