Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada - Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (41-4, 34 KOs) made his official debut in the super middleweight division - but it nearly ended in disaster.

Lemieux won a razor-close ten round split decision over Max Bursak (35-6-2, 16 KOs).

The fight started with a bang as Bursak dropped Lemieux. Lemieux would rock Bursak in the third. But Burask would repeat his success by dropping Lemieux in the fifth, and then the Canadian puncher returned the favor when he dropped Bursak in round six. Both boxers had their moments as the contest played out.

The scores saw Lemieux get the nod with scores of 94-93, 94-93, and the third judge had Bursak ahead 94-93 on his card.

On the undercard, two faded former heavyweight champions were put away by rising contenders.

Heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov (10-0, 10 KOs) put away former WBC world champion Samuel Peter (38-9, 31 KOs), 39-years-old, in the very first round. Makhmudov dropped with a big right hook and then pounded him for the finish.

Heavyweight contender Simon Kean (18-1, 17 KOs) was up on the cards when he took out former WBO heavyweight champion Sergei Liakhovich (27-8, 17 KOs), 43-years-old, in the tenth round to capture the vacant WBC international silver title. Kean unloaded with punches in the final round to force the stoppage.

Luke Furman covers boxing for