De La Hoya interested in Golovkin-Lemieux fight
By Dan Ambrose: IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux’s promoters Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions and Camille Estephan of Eye of the Tiger promotions are both interested in potentially setting up a unification fight between Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) and WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) for the 26-year-old Lemieux’s next fight.
Lemieux has a mandatory defense due against the winner of the Tureano Johnson vs. Eamonn O’Kane IBF 160lb eliminator bout, but Lemieux can bypass that fight by facing Golovkin instead. The IBF has already said the unification match between Golovkin and Lemieux can take place next.
Now all we need is for De La Hoya and Estephan to give Lemieux the green light to face the hard hitting Golovkin.
Lemieux is in a tough situation either way. If De La Hoya and Estephan decide to play it safe and not put Lemieux in with Golovkin, it could very well blow up in their faces with Lemieux getting beaten by Tureano Johnson, who is all wrong for Lemieux. Johnson never stops punching, has an outstanding work rate, a good chin, and is someone who would have a good chance of wearing Lemieux down and stopping him.
If Lemieux loses to Johnson, then there won’t be a big money fight against Lemieux, at least not until Lemieux rebuilds his career once again. It took four years for Lemieux to rebuild his career after his losses to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubio. If Lemieux loses to Tureano Johnson and takes another four years to rebuild his career, Golovkin might not be around for him to face by then.
“We think David will hurt Golovkin,” Estephan said to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “Without wanting to divulge our strategy we feel very good about our chances. People want to see Golovkin tested and we are willing if it makes business sense. We are talking and the door is open. We are well aware that David is only 26 and is getting better day by day where Golovkin is now 33. So time is on our side. We’re not in a rush.”
Estephan says that time is on Lemieux’s side in a match-up with Golovkin, meaning that they can wait him out until he gets old before facing him if they choose. I don’t believe that Lemieux is good enough to do that. I think his career is going to go belly up as soon as he faces Tureano Johnson, Miguel Cotto or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. I doubt that Golovkin will ever get a shot at Lemieux, because once he starts getting beaten again and put in his place, he’ll no longer be a viable opponent for him.
With the way that Estephan is talking, it’s not likely that he’s going to want to put Lemieux in with Golovkin right now. Estephan seems to be assuming that the 26-year-old Lemieux will be able to beat the likes of Tureano Johnson. That guy is really the only top contender that the IBF has ranked in their top 15 that can potentially beat Lemieux. Still, this could backfire big time on Estephan if he chooses to take the easier path by taking the smaller money fight against Johnson after he beats O’Kane, and he will beat him, and then loses to Johnson. Then instead of Lemieux eventually facing Golovkin in a unification fight, we’d be seeing Johnson facing GGG in a unification match-up while Lemieux sits on the sidelines watching the fight that he could have had.
In watching how bad Lemieux looked in beating a limited fighter in Hassan N’Dam last June, I don’t see Lemieux being able to beat Johnson. Lemieux still has the same stamina problems that led to him losing to Alcine and Rubio. Nothing has been fixed on that end for Lemieux. Sure, he’s won his last nine fights since then, but he’s not beaten anyone good. N’Dam would have beaten Lemieux if he didn’t have such a fragile chin. N’Dam was winning all the rounds he was getting knocked down in. Johnson won’t hit the deck over and over again like N’Dam did when he faces Lemieux, and he’ll do a much better job of wearing Lemieux down than N’Dam did.