by Fox Doucette
Middleweight David Lemieux (26-2, 25 KOs) tries to continue his comeback after a spectacular failure stepping up in class, as he takes on one-time stoppage victim Alvaro Gaona (11-1, 7 KOs) in a classic “smash the puffed-up record” kind of fight Friday night in Montreal.
Lemieux came into the pro ranks like a bat out of hell, quickly compiling a 25-0 record with 24 stoppage wins against an array of hobos, bums, tomato cans, and possibly a chef or two pulled out of one of Montreal’s famous French-cuisine restaurants as discipline for serving a cheese that was only very good rather than exquisite. Included in this array of hobos was Hector Camacho Jr., which says more about Camacho that he lost in one round than it does about Lemieux.
The first time Lemieux stepped into the ring against someone able to fight back (Marco Antonio Rubio), he looked spectacular for the first four rounds on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. This was part of the strategy for Rubio; frustrate Lemieux, show him that he couldn’t overpower the Mexican, then uncork the barrage from Round 5 onward. It took only two and a half rounds from that point for Rubio to prove his point; that Lemieux was naught but a knock out the bums guy. The incident in which trainer Russ Anber threw in the towel led to Anber’s dismissal from Team Lemieux and the fighter himself looking for answers.
One fight later, Lemieux stepped in with fellow Montreal fighter Joachim Alcine. Alcine got a majority decision, and Lemieux got 12 rounds where he actually had to fight, something he’d never done to that point in his pro career. Exposed thusly, it was clearly back to the drawing board, since the fight was not as close as that one drawn score indicated (the other two judges had it 8-4 for Alcine, and even that might have been a bit charitable for Lemieux’s cluelessness in any style other than going for the first-round KO.)
Lemieux tuned up or regressed, depending on your perspective, in his next fight; two rounds with Jaudiel Zepeda was all that was required to send the Culiacan, Mexico native to his sixth loss in eighteen fights and his second knockout defeat. Plus ça change…
Alvaro Gaona looks like more of the same. His one stoppage loss was to a guy (Esau Herrera) who isn’t exactly Sergio Martinez, and his wins have been against guys who wouldn’t scare their mothers in a fight. A puffed-up record sounds good when the ring announcer calls it out, but this is a clear and evident setup for David Lemieux to knock someone out in short order and further regress in his skills.
Lemieux needs guys who will give him rounds and weather his attack without threatening him; Alvaro Gaona is not that guy. Lemieux has “Montreal club fighter” written all over him.
This fight, the co-feature to the Adonis Stevenson-Don George main event, airs in the United States on WealthTV.com (30-day free trial available) and in Canada on Indigo at 7 PM Eastern time on Friday, October 12.
Fox Doucette covers Friday Night Fights for The Boxing Tribune. His weekly column, The Southpaw, appears Thursdays. Fan mail, hate mail, and cheese in all its delicious forms can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.