Boxing has been on a hell of a run with high-profile fights delivering upsets and entertainment and high drama. Saturday night’s Showtime Championship Boxing main event in Arizona did not fit the description of anything but a bad mismatch.
Undefeated former WBC super-middleweight champion David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) won the interim title — Canelo Alvarez is the main champion but obviously went up to light heavyweight and lost to Dmitry Bivol two weeks ago — by third-round TKO over former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (43-5, 36 KOs). This was a very bad idea and the WBC should be ashamed to have even ordered such a fight.
Benavidez rocked the Canadian with a left hook late in round one, and Benavidez’s trademark flurry of shots looked to produce a TKO. Harvey Dock intervened just as the bell sounded and after some initial confusion, Lemieux truly was saved by the bell.
Lemieux was decked in round two off a two-punch combination and while he threw back and threw back regularly, he was rarely landing and he was absorbing far too much punishment for his own good. His toughness got him praise from the commentators but anyone watching knew this was just a man on borrowed time. Sure enough the beating continued into the third round, and the corner called the fight off.
Watch the highlights below:
Benavidez continues to be one of the most exciting young talents in boxing at just 25 years old. What’s held him back are self-inflicted problems, including getting stripped of the WBC title for a positive cocaine test and later missing weight after he won the title back. His strength of schedule as of late leaves much to be desired, and he seems well aware because he called out Canelo, Jermall Charlo, and Caleb Plant.
Lemieux may only be 33 years old but it’s been five years since he had anything resembling a quality win and against the highest level of competition he’s consistently lost. He’s undersized at 168 lbs and even more so against a giant like Benavidez, who stands 6’1” and cuts quite a bit to make the super-middleweight limit. Unfortunately he got put in a fight he had virtually no chance of winning and he took some serious punishment along the way.