MONTREAL – Hometown favorite David Lemieux and Fernando Guerrero agree on one thing: their showdown on the undercard of the Adonis Stevenson-Andrzej Fonfara SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader at Bell Centre this Saturday, May 24 will likely end in a knockout. Photos by Stephanie Trapp.
“The knockout is going to be there,” Lemieux said. “It’s only a matter of how it’s going to be there that is going to make a difference.”
The power-punching Lemieux (31-2, 29 KOs), of Montreal, and Guerrero (26-2, 19 KOs) of Salisbury, Md., will square off in a 10-round middleweight co-featured bout live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Guerrero, who compiled a 2-0 record in Canada while fighting as an amateur, isn’t fazed by Lemieux’s power or the prospect of fighting in his hometown.
“We’ve faced punchers before and I’ve demolished them,” Guerrero said. “With a guy like David and I facing off, it doesn’t seem like the fight will go the distance.”
In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast, Houston’s unbeaten rising star Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11 KOs) takes on Japan’s Charlie Ohta (24-1-1, 16 KOs) in a 12-round junior middleweight match.
The 2013 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, “Superman” Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs), of Montreal, will defend his WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship against Chicago’s Fonfara (25-2, 15 KOs), the IBF No. 1 and WBC No. 3-ranked contender.
On SHO EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT) from the Bell Centre, Julian “J-Rock” Williams (15-0-1, 9 KOs), of Philadelphia, faces Michael Medina (26-4-2, 19 KOs), of Modesto, Calif., in a 10-round junior middleweight scrap and world-ranked Eleider Alvarez (14-0, 8 KOs), of Montreal by way Colombia, collides with Alexander Johnson (15-1, 6 KOs), of Washington, D.C., in a 10-round light heavyweight bout.
Here’s what the participants had to say at Thursday’s press conference:
“I’ve been preparing for a spectacular fight. We’re both great fighters, but only one of us can win on Saturday.
“(Guerrero) is one of the best fighters I’ve fought to date. I feel spectacular. My training camp has been spectacular; I’ve had the best training camp of my career. We did everything we needed to do in case there are any surprises in the ring.
“I feel the strongest I’ve ever been. I’m ready to go 12 rounds. If it has to go to the limit, I will have no problem.
On switching trainers……“It has been a big help in my career. It’s been a big turnaround. My new trainer Marc Ramsay has helped me become ready to be a 12-round fighter. There have been so many changes since the two upsets I had with my old trainer. I now see all the things that I need to be on top of my game and to be a world champion. We’ve been making adjustments and we’ve been getting the results in the ring. I’m ready to fight anybody right now.
“I’m a knockout artist. Every fight I go into I expect a knockout. And I’m feeling the strongest I’ve ever felt since the beginning.
“I expect (Guerrero) to take my head off. So I will be ready for whatever. I’m not scared – I expect the same punishment that I give to my opponents. I want to knock him out, so I expect the same thing from him.
“I’m not worried. Whatever he brings to the table, I’ll adjust and I’ll be victorious.”
“We’ve fought in Canada before in the amateurs and I won both times. I’m 2-0 in Canada. I’m not worried about fighting in front of his hometown fans.
“I’ve grown since the loss to (Peter) Quillin. I had one of the worst camps of my life for that fight and I wasn’t mentally or emotionally prepared. We just have to move on and not have any emotions in there for this fight.
“Lemieux and I have a lot of similarities. We both have two losses. We’ll get in there and see what happens. One of us will likely walk out with a third loss, and I’ve done everything I can to make sure that it isn’t me.
“Once we step in the ring there aren’t any excuses. If I win, it’s because I prepared as hard as I could. If I lose, it’s because I didn’t give it my all.
“I’m 2-0 in Canada. I came here and I won. When you’re a boxer, it’s not the location that matters because we all fight in the ring. I’ll step in the ring and do my job and let the judges do theirs.
“I’ve seen a lot of his fights – we’ve done our homework. We know what he does well and we also know his weaknesses.
“I consider myself a puncher just like him. He’s strong, I’m strong. He’s fast, I’m fast. He has heart, I have heart. But I never give up. I have the will to fight.’’
“I’m blessed and thankful to be here in Canada. Ever since we touched down it’s been great. I’m ready to put on a great performance and keep climbing up in the ranks at 154 pounds.
On his height advantage over Ohta… “In camp we worked on so many different things and we’re ready for whatever Charlie is going to bring. He’s 5-foot-6 and I’m 5-foot-11½ so that’s an advantage for me.
“I’m fast, I’m strong. I’m way stronger than I was for the (Gabriel) Rosado fight, so hopefully that will come out during this fight. You’ll see the strength and you’ll see that I’m ready for this next stage and level of boxing.
On being in camp with Erislandy Lara… “We push each other hard. Even with the language barrier we’re able to still communicate and make fun out of training and at the same time give it our all.
“We’ve been gaining from everything that we knew we missed out on last fight. So it’s just the process of getting better.
On Ohta not being present at the press conference… “It happens. I’ve seen him on tape. I know what he looks like, so it’s fine. I’ll see him at the fight, and I’ll see him at the weigh-in.
“He’s a short and stocky guy so he uses his compact positioning and his style to his perfection. But what fighter haven’t I faced that comes forward, that puts a lot of pressure on and is heavy?
“He has a little pop on his punches. He’s 32 years old, I’m 24 – my birthday was Monday -- so I feel like I’m getting older and I’m getting better.”
CHARLIE OHTA (Prepared Statement):
“I’m in great shape and I had a great camp. This is my time.
“This is a great fight between a boxer and a puncher. It’s no secret what I’m going to do -- I’m going to bring the heat and put the heat on Charlo.
“We guarantee you will see a great fight and everyone will get their money’s worth.”