On Saturday night in Quebec, former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux made his return to the ring and won a twelve round unanimous decision over Frenchman Karim Achour.
Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) handed down a lot of punishment and managed to drop Achour in the twelfth and final around, but he was unable to put Achour (26-5-4, 4 KOs) away.
The judges handed down official scores of 119-108, 120-107 and 119-107.
The big puncher appeared to injure his left hand during the final round, but said it didn't appear to be anything serious.
After the contest, Lemieux gave respect to his durable opponent - “He was better than I thought. My hat’s off to him, he’s a good boxer. I know I hurt him a lot. But every time he came back at me.”
The handlers for Lemieux were pleased because his jab was back, after he failed to use that punch during last December's one-sided loss to former WBO middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders.
“We knew that Achour was going to give us this kind of performance, that’s why we selected him. But David also gave us the performance we expected. He delivered rounds and most importantly, the jab was back,” said Marc Ramsay, Lemieux’s coach.
Achour loses his World Boxing Council (WBC) International and Francophone titles. They become vacant. Despite his victory, Lemieux din’t walk away with the two belts having missed the 160-pound limit by two pounds at 162 on Friday.
Missing the weight limit cost Lemieux 20 percent of his purse, that ended up going to Achour.