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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
David Lemieux: "This Time, I Will Fight
With Two Shoulders In Perfect Health"

By Daniel Cloutier

MONTRÉAL - The Montrealer middleweight David Lemieux, who injured severely his left shoulder in the first minutes of action at his last two bouts, doesn’t believe this handicap will haunt him in his next bout.

“It’s true, my performances has been really affected by this severe pain in the left shoulder at my last two fights, I could not used my jabs and left hooks, but I really believe I will be OK next Saturday in the ring of the Videotron Centre,” said Lemieux before a training session Monday at the Sherbatov martial arts gym in Laval (northern suburb of Montréal). “I went to a Montréal Hospital after my lost against Billy Joe Saunders (the WBO middleweight champion of the world) last December, I submit myself to a magnetic resonance test, and the doctor told me I needed absolutely cortisone injections. I got theses injections, and now, I don’t feel any pain in training, then, I don’t expect to feel pain during my fight next Saturday.”

Next Saturday, Lemieux (38-4-0), ranked fourth contender by the WBC and seventh by the WBO in the 160 pounds division, will fight the French champion and second contender in the European ratings, Karim Achour (26-4-3), in the main event of a boxing show presented by The Eye Of The Tiger Management Group at Videotron Centre in Québec City.

“I am preparing myself for a long fight, because Achour is a very solid opponent,” said Lemieux. “I saw him in action on videos. I will need to attack him energetically to dominate the rounds, in hoping to hurt him in each round. With two shoulders in perfect health, I really believe I can hurt my rival.”

Lemieux believes that 2018 and 2019 will be glorious years for him. “Yes, I am expecting to score an impressive win next Saturday, and I want to face the best middleweights in the world this year and next year,” said Lemieux. “I am ranked by the WBC and the WBO, then, I can expect to get eventually another opportunity to fight for a world title.”

Lemieux became IBF middleweight champion of the world in May 2015 in Montréal, in beating the French African Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (36-3-0) by unanimous decision, but in October the same year, he lost by TKO in the eight round against Gennady Golovkin in the ring of the Madison Square Garden in New York, in an unification of the WBA and the IBF middleweights titles.

A fighter from Kazakstan, Golovkin (38-0-1) is considered actually as the best fighters pound for pound in the world. “I learned a lot in this frustrating fight with Golovkin, then, I am sure that with two shoulders in good health, I will play a major role on the international boxing scene in the years to come.”

Lemieux was furious when the British Billy Joe Saunders (26-0-0) said last January in England: “Lemieux should be ashamed of himself. In mentioning that his left shoulder prevent him to beat me last December, he just tried to discredit-ate my domination on him. I clearly won this bout (unanimous decision), I have no respect for him, and no respect for the Montrealers who booed me that night.”

Lemieux replied: “Saunders has no respect for anybody. For me, he is a bum! I hate him.”

Marc Ramsay, the Lemieux’s trainer, said his fighter prepared himself very seriously for this bout with Achour. “I saw several times Achour in action,” said Ramsay. “He is extremely popular in France. He is a very intense fighter, but no doubt in my mind, Lemieux is stronger physically than him, and he is a more dangerous puncher than him. David got a great preparation for this challenge. David will need to fight with concentration and discipline, because Achour will working well defensively. He is protecting very well his jaw. David will need to work with his jabs and wait the perfect time to connect his power shots. I know he can do it. He did it in his last bouts when his two shoulders were in perfect health.”

When we asked him if he believes that Lemieux gonna win the fight by KO or TKO, Ramsay smiled. “I won’t be surprised at all if David wins by KO or TKO, he is a so dangerous puncher, he is so determinate, but the main thing, it’s to win the bout, said the excellent trainer. I know that David wants to move up in the international ratings to get eventually another opportunity to fight for a world title. The win is a must, a win by KO or TKO would be a big plus.”

Tuesday afternoon, Achour will meet the Montréal medias at the Sherbatov martial arts gym, and him and Lemieux will meet the Québec City medias Wednesday afternoon in a press conference held by the promoter Camille Estephan at the Viedeotron Centre.


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