Photos: Will Hart
By Eric Raskin
In his first fight back since a lopsided loss to Gennady Golovkin last October, David Lemieux got to the play the role of GGG against overmatched Glen Tapia, walloping the brave but limited “Jersey Boy” until Tapia’s corner threw in the towel 56 seconds into the fourth round and ref Russell Mora had no choice but to end the contest.
Lemieux and Tapia are cut from a similar cloth—both exciting punchers, not overly adept at defense—and Tapia learned the hard way that anything he could do, the man from Montreal could do better. A beautiful left uppercut from Lemieux late in round one set the tone, and the 27-year-old Canadian was in full stalker mode by the second. Even his jab was scoring flush, and about the best you could say for Tapia was that his chin was holding up impressively.
Lemieux (35-3, 32 KOs) began mixing in punches to the body in the third, and his combinations grew increasingly confident as he seemed to be utterly unworried by the return fire he might face. The 26-year-old Tapia (23-3, 15 KOs) did sneak in one particularly nice jab midway through round three, earning a nod of acknowledgement from Lemieux, but that was the underdog’s last good moment.
Early in the fourth, a left hook (followed by a relatively inconsequential cuffing right) dropped Tapia for the first time in his career, and though he beat the count easily, his corner had seen enough—much to the frustration of Tapia. “I wasn’t that hurt,” he insisted. “I’m kind of mad at Freddie [Roach] a little bit.” If anything, Tapia’s corner swung in completely the opposite direction as when he suffered his first loss, against James Kirkland; on that night, he took a frightful beating, and his new team wasn’t going to go down that road again. Despite his disappointment, Tapia offered praise for his opponent: “He caught me with a good hook. He’s quick. I felt really slow and I just couldn’t get off.”
“It’s just the beginning,” Lemieux said after kicking off a new winning streak. “I’m young in the game and I’ve got a lot of great accomplishments to accomplish.” He proceeded to call out the winner of the evening’s lone remaining bout, Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan. “[I want] the top guys, of course. The main event seems really good, hopefully [I can fight] the winner of that.”