By Rick Reeno
Eric Gomez, VP of Golden Boy Promotions, has confirmed to BoxingScene.com that feared middleweight puncher David Lemieux (33-2, 31KOs) of Canada has accepted the mandate of the International Boxing Federation to face Hassan N'Dam (31-1, 18KOs) for the vacant IBF championship.
N'Dam became the mandatory challenger to the title last October after winning a final eliminator over Curtis Stevens. He was due to face champion Jermain Taylor. But then Taylor, who is currently facing an assortment of legal issues, was stripped of the title. The sanctioning body ordered Felix Sturm to face N'Dam for the vacant belt. Sturm, who no longer wants to fight at 160, took a pass.
The IBF then ordered Billy Joe Saunders to face N'Dam. He also passed, because he already has a mandatory shot at the winner of the April fight between WBO champion Andy Lee and challenger Peter Quillin.
Then the IBF's invitation went to IBF #5 ranked Lemieux, who embraced the title opportunity with open arms. A meeting will take place later this week between Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya and Michael King, who promotes N'Dam.
Gomez tells BoxingScene that a date, and venue, has not been determined. At this point, the fight could very well take place in the United States or possibly in Canada.
"Lemieux has accepted. We just notified the IBF today. Michael King reached out to Oscar and they are going to be meeting later this week. [The date and location] depends on how the negotiations go. We're going to sit down and go over everything," Gomez told BoxingScene.com.
Lemieux made his American debut, which HBO carried as the headline fight of a televised tripleheader, last December from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Lemieux punished Gabe Rosado for ten rounds before the fight was stopped.
N'Dam, a former WBO champion, has won four in a row since losing a twelve round decision to Peter Quillin in 2012, which also took place at Barclays. Against Quillin, N'Dam showcased his boxing ability and a lot of heart, as he overcame six knockdowns in the contest.