CANADA’S David Lemieux has done what few top-rated middleweights have agreed to do, and that’s sign to fight the dangerous and avoided Gennady Golovkin. Lemieux, 26 years old and sporting a 34-2 (31) pro record, will put his newly won IBF title on the line against the unbeaten Golovkin – who holds the WBA Super world crown, as well as the Interim WBC championship – but both men know the October 17 fight is about more than just belts.
Lemieux, in speaking exclusively with Boxing News, says he believes the winner of the unification rumble will deservedly be looked at as THE premier middleweight on the planet, and David says he is sure that it will be his hand that is raised in triumph inside the historic Madison Square Garden arena in New York.
Fans are hugely excited about this fight, as many see it as a bombs away, puncher versus puncher match-up. Is that how you view this bout yourself?
I certainly do, because yes, both of us are terrific power-punchers. But at the same time, in the case of both of us, there are tremendous skills we can and do bring to our fights. Of course the fans love to see power and they will not be disappointed with this fight. I can tell you, there will be blood! We are going to war.
Golovkin has been avoided by a number of fighters, yet you agreed to fight him straight away. What does that say about you?
Well, he is just another man. He’s just another fighter. But I tell you this, after October 17, there will be a new ‘most feared man in boxing.’ And it will be me. Do I see myself winning this fight by a KO? Yes, I definitely do. This is a great fight, definitely one that is right at the top of the food chain, and I am very confident in my abilities.
The middleweight division is deep with talent. Yourself and ‘GGG’ aside, who do you think is the best at 160lbs today?
There are a lot of good middleweights out there. It has always been a deep division in talent. This is why the middleweight division has always been a division with so much prestige. The winner of this fight, yes, he will definitely deserve the distinction of being the best in the world. That will be me. I am super excited to be fighting at Madison Square Garden for the first time, because when you look at the history of the fights [that have taken place there] it is a privilege and an honour to be a part of that. It’s also an honour that this fight is being compared to the great [Marvin] Hagler-[Thomas] Hearns fight. But I’m not just going to New York to fight Golovkin, I’m going there to beat him. For those people who make me the underdog, they better get ready because on October 17 I will shock the world.
Some people, when looking for weaknesses in Golovkin, say he can take a few too many unnecessary punches. Do you feel his possibly leaky defence will be a factor you can exploit?
I’m not really concentrating on what he does in the ring, I’m concentrating on what it is that I will be doing in the fight. I’m concentrating on what I will bring to the table. Our styles do spell bombs away but we will see on the night what approach he will take.
Have you improved since your surprise 2011 losses to Marco Antonio Rubio (rsf 7) and Joachim Alcine (md 12)?
They [the losses] opened my eyes to a lot of things and yes, I have learned from my past mistakes and I have made a lot of changes. I have been successful, just look at the numbers – they speak for themselves. I believe the best is yet to come from me as a fighter.
You have already won a major title, when you took the vacant IBF belt with your June win over Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (ud 12). How much did that victory mean to you?
It meant the absolute world to me. I knew that was a very important fight for my career and I was simply not going to be denied. But as I said, the best is yet to come from me. I am a career middleweight and after October, I will be the best in the world. No fan should miss this fight either! As I have been saying, I really hope this is the fight of the decade.