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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Achour: "I Am Resistant & I Am Proud Of It"

By Daniel Cloutier

QUÉBEC CITY - Second contender in the European ratings in the middleweight division, the French fighter Karim Achour was not too frustrated after his defeat by unanimous decision against the Montrealer David Lemieux Saturday evening in the ring of the Videotron Centre in Québec City.

“Lemieux attacked furiously round after round, but like you saw it, I resisted his barrage of punches until the last bell,” said the Parisian Algerian fighter. “In the circumstances, I am proud of my courage and resistance. Lemieux is a very powerful puncher.”

Achour is right. Lemieux tortured him from the beginning to the end of this WBC international 160 pounds championship. Lemieux provoked the only knockdown of the bout in the last round (12th), but Achour got back on his legs after five seconds. Finally, the judges scored the bout 120-107, 119-107 and 119-108 in favor of Lemieux, who was the aggressor in every round.

“No doubt, David controlled the action from the beginning to the end,” said Marc Ramsay, Lemieux’s trainer. “He dominated all the rounds like the judges scores are proving it. And David followed the strategy with his intense attacks to the body and the head. David made few technical mistakes, but in training, he will make the necessaries adjustments, and I am sure he will be even better at his next bout.”

Lemieux is ranked fourth contender by the WBC and seventh by the WBO. However, despite of his clear domination, Lemieux did not win this WBC international championship, because he did not respect the limit of the middleweight division at the weight in. He was not eligible for this title. Then, because Lemieux won the bout, the WBC declared this title vacant.

“I did not fight perfectly, I made some mistakes, but I was deserving plenty the win, because I dominated all the rounds,” said Lemieux. “I was the aggressor from the beginning to the end, and I connected two or three times more punches than my opponent. I got to admit that Achour (26-5-3) is a very tough opponent. He went on the canvas in the 12th round, but like you saw it, he resisted to my intense attacks until the last bell. I am ready to face the best middleweights in the world, and I will improve my performances in my next bouts.”

In the weeks to come, Camille Estephan, the promoter of The Eye Of The Tiger Management, will discuss with the former world champion Oscar De La Hoya, the big boss of the Golden Boy Promotions organization in Las Angeles, about the next Lemieux’s bout. De La Hoya is the Lemieux’s promoter, and Estephan the manager.

“David is determined to dispute another world championship this year or next year, and I am positive he gonna work like hell in the gym to improve his style in the months to come,” said Marc Ramsay. “I believe you will see in action a David Lemieux better than ever in the months to come.”

Lemieux (39-4-0) became IBF middleweight champion of the world in 2015, when he beat the French African Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (36-3-0) by unanimous decision in the ring of the Bell Centre in Montréal, because in October the same year, he lost this title when he fought Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1) in the ring of the Madison Square Garden in New York. Golovkin won this WBA and IBF unification titles bout by TKO in the eight round. And last December at Place Bell in Laval (Montréal northern’s suburb), Lemieux lost by unanimous decision against the WBO champion of the world, the British Billy Joe Saunders (26-0-0). However, because a serious injury happened in the first round, Lemieux has been unable to attack with his left fist in this bout. Lemieux received several cortisone injections in his left shoulder in January and February.

“For the first time since a year, I have a healthy left shoulder, then, you will see me better than ever in my next bouts,” said Lemieux. “You will see in action a David Lemieux at his peak. I hurt a finger in the last round Saturday evening, but it’s nothing serious. I am very impatient to know who will be my next opponent.” Lemieux is 29 years old.


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