SAN DIEGO, June 20, 2015 – Many boxing fans will be tuned in to Premier Boxing to see the Broner vs. Porter bout, but they’d be doing themselves a big favor by finding Fox Sports 2 or Fox Deportes on their cable system or online to see the weekend’s best bout. At least set your DVR; thank me later.
Middleweights David Lemieux of Montreal and Hassan N’Dam of France via Cameroon (now training in Los Angeles) will dish out the punishment in what’s sure to be a fan-friendly fight with plenty of action in front of Lemieux’s home town fans in Montreal at the Bell Centre. The winner will take home the vacant IBF middleweight belt stripped from Jermain Taylor due to his legal and psychiatric problems, which prevent him from defending it.
The middleweight division is enjoying an exciting revival thanks to big names like Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Peter Quillin and Andy Lee; but without a doubt Lemieux and N’Dam merit mentions too, despite being much less known by American fans.
Lemieux (33-2, 31 KOs) made an impressive American debut with a 10th-round TKO victory over the ever-tough Philadelphia fighter Gabriel Rosado. Lemieux demonstrated versatile punching skills and technique to go with his strength. He made the impression necessary to get himself into the ring with a bigger name opponent.
Lemieux said he was ready for anyone. “I want to be world champion,” Lemieux said. “I am ready for whoever is at 160 — Golovkin, (Miguel) Cotto, (Peter) Quillin. I want to fight the best. I’m not afraid of nobody.”
It turned out to be N’Dam (33-1, 18 KOs), whose sole loss was a decision to Quillin in October 2012, a performance he took on three weeks’ notice that impressed many fans due to N’Dam’s toughness, aggression and heart. He has scored three wins since, including a good performance against Curtis Stevens last October.
Canadian boxing fans are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and they fill the seats. Lemieux’s new promoter, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy, were smart to stage the fight in Lemieux’s home town, where N’Dam will have some supporters among French-speaking immigrants. This bout is a pay-per-view bout in Canada. Fortunately for American fans, De La Hoya managed to make a deal with Fox Sports to show the fight in the U.S.
Lemieux understands the opportunity in front of him. “My name has been in people’s ears, but it hasn’t been out there to expose potential yet,” said Lemieux in a media conference call. “So June 20 will signify earning the right to have my name out there with the top of the world. It’s extremely important. Of course every fight is extremely important, but especially this one. It’s another degree of importance. I’m training extremely hard, and I’m not going to miss my shot.”
N’Dam remains under the radar, and he knows it. “Today, everyone is talking about the hard-hitter facing me. But people tend to forget what I’ve done before when I’ve faced other hard-hitting boxers. One day my skills, my talent and my efforts will be recognized and acknowledged and then I’ll be in that midst,” said N’Dam.
Both combatants want to make an impression because they want their shot at the big names, so they’re going to bring it. Lemieux says, “For all the fans around the world, don’t miss this fight. If you blink, you might miss it. It’s going to be a great night and very explosive.” It’s possible the winner will get his chance to step into the ring with Golovkin, since he’ll be looking for a fight in the fall assuming Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez will commit to a bout in September. It’s good news either way for fight fans.
N’Dam was knocked down multiple times in his loss to Quillin; Lemieux is considered a far harder puncher than Quillin and has been called a “seek and destroy” fighter. Add the fact Lemieux is fighting in his home town and he’s considered the favorite. But N’Dam seems motivated, and his toughness makes him difficult to stop. N’Dam is quite capable of finding a way to prevail.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is president/owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, Calif. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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