Super-middleweight contenders David Benavidez and David Lemieux clashed on Saturday, May 21, in Arizona in a major puncture battle, in which David Benavidez boldly sent a message to his rivals on Saturday in both action and words.
And Benavidez bled and killed Lemieux and forced a stop in the third round at Gilla River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Benavidez has declared himself a must-challenge for the WBC Super Middleweight title.
First of all, let's take a look at the background of the match
Twice title holder David Benavidez and longtime contender David Lemieux will fight for the WBC "interim" ballot, which will bring the winner closer to a major title fight. Benavidez is on a five-run knockout streak, including Kyrone Davis' seventh round stoppage last November. Benavidez has been cited as a potential rival to the undisputed 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez. He has also expressed interest in facing Caleb Plant and middleweight title holders Jermal Charlo and Demetris Andrade. He lives in Seattle but grew up in Phoenix, not far from Glendale. Lemieux, a Montreal-based knockout artist, has lost his biggest fight. These include the defeat of KO by Gennadiy Golovkin in 2015 and the decision against Billy Joe Saunders in 2017. However, he has won five consecutive fights since the subsequent blow. He was last in the ring in June last year, when he stopped David Zeigara in the second round.
The Phoenix resident performed brilliantly in front of fans in his hometown of Gila River Arena and fought aggressively, fighting his way to open the 12-round fight set for WBC's "interim" title. He slapped her hard, hitting her hard on the body and some on the head, but he wasted no time.
Then, in an instant, everything changed. With 12 seconds to go into the preliminary round, the left hook of Lemieux's head hit his knees and he was badly injured. He managed to stay on his feet under the barrage of follow-up punches, but that was the beginning of the end for the Canadian slugger.
Benavidez continued the attack at the start of Round 2. At about 20 seconds into the frame, he held the Lemix behind him with his left hand and under the ropes. The winner continued to pound Lemieux with a series of penalty shots, which eventually bled and made it clear that Lemieux would not last long.
The former middleweight title holder showed great courage and resilience - retreating with enthusiasm even in the midst of a storm of fire - but Benavidez was punching too hard for Lamex's corner menus, who unjustly punished their man. Stopped fighting to save.
The official stop time for Round 3 was 1:31.
Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) was asked immediately after the fight how he managed to overcome a dynamic veteran opponent who was fighting to keep his career alive as an elite fighter.
After that there was not much to say Lemieux (43-5, 36 KOs).
"After the first round, I was fine," he said. "I liked the good shots [but] I came back. I have to respect him. He's a good fighter, a good hand, a good move. Congratulations to him."
Opponent Benavidez wants the most: Alvarez, the undisputed 168-pound champion who lost to lightweight heavyweight belt holder Dmitry Biol on May 7. They want a shot at a world title and a clear victory, not to mention. A financial loss.
However, in the third fight in September, Alvarez is likely to face Biol or Gennadiy Golovkin again.