The time has come once again to wipe the dust off of the crystal ball, lay the cards out on the table, and examine two fighters that may quite possibly face one another in the distant future.
The light is beginning to shone on David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) whose recent tear in the middleweight division has yielded dominant wins over Hassan N’Dam and Gabriel Rosado. These recent victories have sparked discussion in the boxing world of a possible showdown between Lemieux and middleweight kingpin Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs).
Golovkin is well aware of all the chatter, and says there’s no need to wait and face each other down the road. He wants the title unification right now. The setback to making this fight happen could very well be Golovkin’s repertoire. Combine the fact that he currently has 20 consecutive wins by knockout, and holds the record of the highest knockout ratio in middleweight championship history, Lemieux’s handlers are probably not willing to throw him to the wolves just yet.
There are two common denominators that Golovkin and Lemieux share, both have been in the ring with Marco Antonio Rubio and the aforementioned Rosado. Golovkin battered and bloodied Rosado through seven rounds on January 19, 2013. A hard shot from Golovkin opened a cut over the left eye of Rosado in the second round, and over the next five rounds his face became a bloody mess. With the cut over his eye worsening and being unable to do anything to stall Golovkin’s assault, his corner wisely chose to throw in the towel, bringing a halt to the action. Lemieux’s performance against Rosado had a similar result when they met on December 6, 2014.
Rosado had a few good moments in the early going, but Lemieux stayed in control, continuously landing clean power punches that created a large swelling on Rosado’s eye. The ringside doctor stopped the fight in the 10th round due to the excessive swelling around Rosado’s eye, even though Rosado kept insisting that he could see out of both eyes. While they both had similar results against Rosado, their performances against Rubio were nowhere close to being equal.
Golovkin and Rubio squared off October 18, 2014, in a one-sided battle that lasted less than six minutes. Doing what he does best, Golovkin stalked Rubio in the first round, and found an opening in the second, flooring Rubio with a hard overhand left. Rubio was either unwilling or unable to answer the count, and Golovkin came away with a second-round knockout victory.
Lemieux was on the cusp of landing bigger fights and climbing the ranks of the middleweight division when he stepped into the ring with Rubio on April 8, 2011, but what transpired that evening would change everything. Rubio weathered Lemieux’s early assault, and by the end of the sixth round, Lemieux was in survival mode with his back against the ropes. Things became even worse in the seventh when Rubio connected with a solid overhand right that sent Lemieux falling into the ropes and on the canvas.
Lemieux beat the count, but Rubio smelled blood and forced Lemieux back into the ropes where he began to unload a barrage of punches. Having no answer to the attack and staying strictly defensive, Lemieux’s corner called a stop to the bout. This would be the first loss of Lemieux’s career, and it was a devastating one. People don’t always like to look at how well two fighters performed against the same opponent, but perhaps this instance provides a clearer image of what may occur if Golovkin and Lemieux one day find themselves face-to-face in the squared circle.
Golovkin and Lemieux both have crowd-pleasing styles, which would guarantee no shortage of fireworks. Lemieux likes to press the action, get in range and unload his arsenal of stunning power shots. Golovkin is more of a calculating predator that likes to stalk his prey before dropping the hammer on them. It almost seems as though he would rather keep them in the fight as opposed to scoring an early knockout, as a way of making sure fans get their money’s worth.
So let’s say all the stars align just right, and a match is made between the two. Oddsmakers would more than likely have Lemieux a five-to-one underdog given the fact that he’s suffered two defeats, and he’s stepping into the ring with a knockout artist. The fight would probably start a little slow as each man will try to get a feel for the other.
Lemieux will look to use movement so that he’s doesn’t become a stationary target for Golovkin. His best bet (if there is one), would be to maintain steady movement, try to get in close enough to score points, and get out before Golovkin finds him. This makes Round 1 the feeling out process for them and could probably be scored for either fighter if no ground is given up.
Round 2 would start out where the first ended, but halfway through, Golovkin will aim to give Lemieux a sneak peek of the “big drama show,” and try to catch him with a couple of hard shots to the head and body. The round ends and sends Lemieux back to his corner with some unwanted pressure and thoughts of how to keep Golovkin at bay and still be able to score.
Halfway way through the third round Lemieux gets caught during an exchange, and the expression his eyes make will be the smell of blood Golovkin is looking for. Golovkin will then step it up a notch for the remainder of the round stalking his opponent in search of a knockdown.
Let’s assume Lemieux makes it out of the round without getting knocked down, he then knows the heat is on and Golovkin is getting warmed up. The fourth round is when Lemieux gets a front row seat to the show, at this point Golovkin is willing to walk through Lemieux’s best punch so that he can deliver his own. Lemieux eats the canvas twice inside this round, and doesn’t get up from the second one. It will be nothing short of a valiant effort by Lemieux, but he doesn’t have the power nor the chin to compete with Golovkin.