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Boxing: “David Lemieux gave everything he had to give”

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November 2013. David Lemieux waits patiently behind a huge black curtain in the backstage of the old Colosseum in Quebec City for announcer Christian Gauthier to invite him to walk into the ring. That night, the Quebecer, then only 24, played his career in a way.

Which side of the story will it end on? That of the promised hope for a great future that has been able to recover after two failures that occurred two years earlier? Or the one who never knew how to make the changes necessary to ultimately cement his place in the world elite?

Lemieux had enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world of professional boxing by winning 24 of his first 25 fights before the deadline, but was brutally brought back down to earth by Marco Antonio Rubio when he lost in a WBC middleweight elimination duel. .

He then separated from life-long coach Russ Anber, but his debut with Marc Ramsay was unsuccessful, as he suffered a majority decision defeat by the judges against Joachim Alcine, whom everyone then believed at the end of the season. line.

Lemieux’s team therefore decided to rebuild his confidence by offering him rivals almost all fallen in the first or second round. Jose Miguel Torres then represented his first real challenge. Like Lemieux, the younger brother of former welterweight champion Ricardo Torres is a boxer. Nobody expects the shock to go to the limit.

Quebecer knows very well that they are playing great. This fight is part of a plan hatched by his then promoter Yvon Michel that the boxer will eventually cross swords with popular WBC champion Sergio Martinez. The pressure is at its maximum. There will always be room for boxers like Lemieux, but a setback would condemn him to a supporting role. Dangerous, but whose defensive vulnerabilities can be exploited.

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A little less than ten years after that evening in November 2013, it is now clear that Lemieux knew how to put himself on the right side of the story. He has never competed against Martinez, but he still managed to become world champion by beating Hassan N’Dam by unanimous decision in May 2015.

However, this isn’t necessarily the best memory kept by Lemieux’s close guard, who announced his retirement on August 13 after 48 fights, including 43 victories. Lemieux was champion, but above all he gave moments of great intensity.

“For the whole time we were doing the semifinals of [Saul] Torch [Alvarez] in Vegas, it was the big show. I had good times with David Lemieux, his coach Marc Ramsay confessed during a recent interview with RDS.ca. I enjoyed it very, very much. “

“He’s probably the most spectacular guy we’ve met in Quebec,” added his promoter Camille Estephan. He’s the kind of people. There was no hypocrisy about him. “

The emotions generated by Lemieux’s power managed to make people forget his performances against Gennadiy Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders or David Benavidez where he didn’t even come close to the lap. Unlike others, chess does not stick to his skin.

Instinctively, fans will remember the fixes he served on Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, or Gary O’Sullivan. It must be said that Lemieux’s name will forever remain engraved in the history books since he succeeded in the K.-O. of the Year against Stevens in 2017.

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Lemieux probably had a thousand and one chances of disappointing himself throughout his career, yet he always came with the deep conviction that he would win his fights.

A certain recklessness that seduces, but one day reaches its limits. No longer able to reach the 160-pound limit, he was too small to succeed at 168. His tremendous power no longer had the same effect, but he always believed in it until the last moment.

“It is a characteristic of the athletes who have managed to reach the world level, who have become world champions, explains Ramsay. Jean Pascal was like that. Eleider Alvarez was also very competitive … I would say proud. Artur Beterbiev has it inside. “

“Plus, he always offered good fights. I’ve never seen David’s boring fights. He is a guy who has given his full potential to him all the time. He may not have been the most talented guy, but he was a guy who worked very, very, very hard for the career he had. Looking back, I can say that he gave everything he had to give. “

“He’s a guy with a very, very big heart,” Estephan continued. We must not forget that when he made his debut as an amateur he had lost four matches in a row, but he never gave up. David has never been shy about doing what it takes to move forward. I put it in a separate classroom. “

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