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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Karim Achour: "I Expect To Stop Lemieux Between The 8th & 10th Round"

By Daniel Cloutier

MONTRÉAL - The French boxer Karim Achour is living his first trip in America, and he believes it will be a glorious one. Ten times French middleweight champion, Achour is looking now for a place among the best middleweights in the world.

Saturday evening in the ring of the Videotron Centre in Québec City, Achour (26-4-3) will face the WBC 160 pounds fourth contender, the Montrealer David Lemieux (38-4-0), in the main event of a boxing show presented by The Eye Of The Tiger Management Group, headed by the promoter Camille Estephan.

When we asked him if this match up with Lemieux is the most significant bout of his boxing career, Achour smiled. “For me, all the bouts are extremely important, because it’s crucial to stay a winner to move up in the international ratings,” said Achour. “But I got to admit that the fact that Lemieux is actually ranked fourth contender by the WBC, it’s a major fact for me. When I will beat him, my name will certainly appears in the Top 10 of the WBC ratings.”

Achour watched twice Lemieux in action… and twice Lemieux finished the fight in the looser shoes. “Yes, I watched Lemieux when he fought Gennady Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders,” said Achour. “It’s obvious that he is very strong physically, he seems to be a dangerous puncher, but no doubt in mind, I will be the winner next Saturday. I am positive I am better than him technically. The first three or four rounds should be extremely intense and spectacular for the crowd, but more the fight will progress, more I will dominate the action with my technique and my intelligence. I am expecting to stop him between the eight and the 10th round. I got to admit that I am not a destructive puncher, but my technique can make me a destructive boxer. Technique and intelligence are precious qualities for a boxer active on the international boxing scene.”

Lemieux lost by TKO in the eighth round against Gennady Golovkin in October 2015 in the Madison Square Garden in New York. It was an unification of the WBC and IBF middleweight world titles, A fighter from Kazakstan, Golovkin (37-0-1) is considered actually the best fighter pound for pound in the world, And last December in Place Bell in Laval, Lemieux lost by unanimous decision against Saunders, a British who is the WBO champion of the world. However, Lemieux said it was impossible for him to jab and use his left hooks against Saunders, because a constant pain in his left shoulder. Monday, Lemieux revealed he is ready to fight Achour after several cortisone injections in his shoulder. He said the pain is totally disappear.

“It would be ridiculous for me to not respect Lemieux, who was IBF champion of the world in May 2015,” said Achour. “But if Lemieux used his power to beat and dominate Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in this IBF world championship, this strategy won’t work with me in the picture. I know how to fight defensively and offensively. You will understand what I mean when the fight will started Saturday evening. Its my first visit in America, it’s true, and I am positive it will be a glorious one. Power is a good thing for a fighter, but technique and intelligence are more important for me… and I have these weapons.”

Achour is more than satisfied of his preparation for this match up with Lemieux. “Yes, I got a great training camp, mentally, physically, technically and strategically,” said Achour. “I am not nervous at all. I am positive it will go well for me. And I won’t pay attention to the crowd, which will be on the Lemieux’s side. I will fight with a perfect concentration from the beginning to the end.”

A fighter of 31 years of age, Achour believes that 2019 will be the peak of his pro boxing career. “Obviously, I hope to dispute eventually a world title fight, and I will certainly be in that position after my fight with Lemieux,” said Achour.” I achieved great things in Europe so far, it’s time now to achieve great things on the international boxing scene.”

Lemieux and Achour will meet the media in Québec City Wednesday afternoon, when the promoter Camille Estephan will hold the final press conference of the event at the Videotron Centre. Apparently, between 6,000 to 10,000 boxing fans will attenda this bout Saturday evening.


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