By Keith Idec
David Lemieux was convinced he’d be Canelo Alvarez’s next opponent.
Once Lemieux’s left hook knocked out Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the first round September 15, the former IBF middleweight champion assumed he was in perfect position to challenge the Mexican superstar. Alvarez edged Gennady Golovkin to win a majority decision in their rematch that night in Las Vegas and Lemieux, like Alvarez, is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s company.
Montreal’s Lemieux was as surprised as anyone when Alvarez announced that he instead would move up to super middleweight for a fight against England’s Rocky Fielding. The Alvarez-Fielding fight will headline a card Saturday night at Madison Square Garden (DAZN).
The 28-year-old Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) will compete as a full-fledged super middleweight for the first time when he faces Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) in a scheduled 12-rounder for Fielding’s WBA world 168-pound championship.
“I not worried about no payday,” Lemieux told BoxingScene.com. “I’m gonna get my paydays, Canelo or not. But I don’t think Fielding is dangerous for Canelo. He’s not a big puncher and if Canelo connects, it won’t last.”
Win or lose, Alvarez, the WBA/WBC middleweight champion, is expected to move back down to the 160-pound division for his following fight.
Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) was scheduled to box the Bahamas’ Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs) on the Alvarez-Fielding undercard, but the contest fell out on Friday after the Canadian star was unable to make weight. He was taken to the hospital for severe dehydration.
The 29-year-old Lemieux hopes that if Alvarez wins Saturday night, Alvarez actually will fight him next this time - although now it's not clear if that contest would have to take place at a catch-weight.
De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez led Lemieux to believe he would square off against Alvarez once they both won September 15 at T-Mobile Arena. According to Lemieux, demolishing O’Sullivan so easily must’ve made them think twice about allowing Alvarez to box him next.
“The last fight, it was already said that the winner of the main event [Alvarez or Golovkin] would fight the winner of the semi-main event, the semifinal [Lemieux or O’Sullivan],” Lemieux said. “So that didn’t happen. I guess they didn’t like the way I took care of O’Sullivan.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.