AFTER a considerable amount of late summer posturing from the David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens camps, the Canadian will instead face Argentine Cristian Fabian Rios (21-7-3, 6 KOs) on October 22nd, at the Centre Bell in Montreal. According to Canadian sports news outlet, RDS, the official fight announcement will take place on Tuesday afternoon in Montreal.
In his last outing, the hard-hitting Lemieux (35-3, 32 KOs) stopped Jersey native Glenn Tapia in the fourth round on a the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan undercard. He then underwent surgery in July to repair a torn meniscus before commencing his training in advance of a fall return.
His opponent is relatively unknown outside of his home country but he’s no stranger to jumping on a long flight for the opportunity of a lifetime. Rios took a hopeful trip to Wolverhampton last fall but got wiped-out by Tommy Langford in the Brit’s 14th fight.
The Lemieux-Stevens fight is yet another casualty of the HBO budget cuts. Stevens is promoted by Main Events so it’s plausible that the fight could have landed on the promoter’s November 19th event between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.
Montreal-based Eye of the Tiger Management, however, wanted their fighter to compete two more times before year’s end, something that would have been impossible with the November 19th date on Lemieux’s calendar.
Rios, conversely, seems to have no problem fighting back-to-back. He is scheduled for a mid-September match against countryman Rolando Wenceslao Mansilla in a suburb of Buenos Aires.
Though, now that he has punched his ticket to Canada, there is no word as to whether or not that fight will still take place. If it does, his bout against Lemieux will be his second in just thirty-five days.