By Keith Idec
Curtis Stevens took to Twitter on Wednesday to admonish David Lemieux for making excuses for his lopsided loss to Billy Joe Saunders.
The undefeated Saunders easily out-boxed the heavy-handed Lemieux to win a 12-round unanimous decision and retain his WBO middleweight title December 16 in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs), who scored a vicious knockout against Stevens on March 11, claimed during a recent meeting with Canadian reporters that a left shoulder injury hindered him during his loss to England’s Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs).
The Montreal native contended that had he not suffered that injury during the second round, which he said aggravated an existing injury, he would’ve defeated Saunders. Lemieux’s excuse has been harshly criticized by fans, media and other fighters, including Saunders and Stevens, on social media.
In his Tweet, Stevens wrote: tell him take his [loss] like a man like I did. I didn’t complain when ya ass missed the 2nd day weigh in and came in 190.
Brooklyn’s Stevens alluded to Lemieux out-weighing him by at least seven pounds when they entered the ring for their HBO “Boxing After Dark” main event 9½ months ago at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Jim Lampley, HBO’s blow-by-blow announcer, stated during that telecast that Lemieux weighed 177 pounds on the network’s unofficial scale that night, seven more than Stevens, for their 160-pound bout.
Lemieux officially weighed in at 159 pounds for his fight against Stevens, who weighed 158¼ pounds.
Their fight was competitive until Lemieux landed a devastating left hook that knocked Stevens unconscious and produced a frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year” honors. Stevens was taken from the arena on a stretcher, but didn’t suffer permanent damage from Lemieux’s telling blow.
The 32-year-old Stevens (29-6, 21 KOs) recently revealed that he plans to move down to the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds for his next fight. He hasn’t boxed since Lemieux knocked him out.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.