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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Lemieux vs. Ryder For WBA Super
Middleweight Elimination Bout On May 4

By Daniel Cloutier

MONTRÉAL — Former IBF middleweight (160 pounds) champion of the world, the Montrealer David Lemieux will dispute his first fight in the super middleweight (168 pounds) May 4th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and it will be an important one. Lemieux (40-4-0) will face the British John Ryder (27-4-0) in a WBA super middleweight elimination bout.

“It’s frequent in boxing that a fighter got to change of division, and it’s exactly what it’s happening for Lemieux,” said the promoter of the Golden Boy Promotions organization in Los Angeles, the former champion of the world Oscar De La Hoya. “David was an exceptional puncher in the middleweight division, and I am sure he will be very dangerous in the super middleweight division. I am sure this fight Lemieux-Ryder will generate great action May 4th in Las Vegas.”

Since a year, Lemieux got serious problems to maintain his weight at 160 pounds.

The fight Lemieux-Ryder will be presented before the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight championship of the world opposing the Mexican Saul Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2) to the New Yorker Daniel Jacobs (35-2-0).
Lemieux is really prepared for this challenge.

“Ryder is an excellent opponent, but I am decided to prove that I can perform in the super middleweight division, and I will do it May 4th,” said Lemieux. “Some people believe it’s a bad idea for me to move up in the 168 pounds division, but you will see, I will be stronger than ever in this super middleweight division. I am sure I will hurt a lot of fighters of 168 pounds.”

Ryder replied: “I know that Lemieux is a powerful puncher, but I am positive I have the technique and the mobility to dominate him. Lemieux is especially dangerous against an opponent who stays in front of him, but I know I can put him in trouble in moving in the ring and attack him at the right moments. I am very interesting to face my fellow countryman Collin Smith, who is WBA super middleweight champion of the world, then, it’s crucial for me to win this fight with Lemieux.”

Ryder did not mention it, but we can presume he saw his countryman Billy Joe Saunders (27-0-0) beat Lemieux by unanimous decision in December 2017 at Place Bell in Laval, in moving constantly in the ring, and in making surprising attacks against the Montrealer.

The Ryder’s promoter, the British Ed Hearn, is clearly impatient to assist to this bout. “Lemieux and Ryder are both warriors in the ring, and May 4th, they will dispute a crucial fight for their future on the international boxing scene,” said Hearn. “I know that Lemieux is a dangerous puncher, but I really believe that Ryder will do the necessary to get out of the ring in the winning shoes.”

The Lemieux’s manager, the Montrealer promoter Camille Estephan, the big boss of The Eye Of The Tiger Management Group in Montreal, was very enthusiastic after he finalized a deal with De La Hoya for this Cinco de Mayo boxing show.

“David was dreaming to dispute another major fight on the international boxing scene, and he will realize his dream May 4th,” said Estephan. “David knows that a win over Ryder will place him in position to dispute a WBA super middleweight championship of the world. I have a great respect for Ryder, but I really think that David gonna win this bout. David is so determinate to become back world champion, and he will get this opportunity if he beats Ryder May 4th.”

At his last bout, last September in Las Vegas, Lemieux scored a significant win: he beat the Irish Gary O’Sullivan (30-3-0), who was ranked sixth contender by the IBF, by KO in the first round.

On his side, Ryder, at his last presence on the ring, last October in England, beat the Russian Andrey Sirotkin by TKO in the seventh round. Ryder became the first fighter to inflict a defeat to Sirotkin (15-1-0).


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