Photos: Will Hart
Former IBF Middleweight champion and current NABO Middleweight champ David Lemieux (36-3, 32 KOs) will go toe-to-toe with Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) to battle for Lemieux’s NABO title on Saturday, March 11. Scheduled for 12 rounds, Lemieux vs. Stevens will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, and will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Lemieux, from Montreal, Canada, is coming off impressive back-to-back victories including a knockout win over perennial contender and Freddie Roach-trained Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia as well as a hard-fought, unanimous decision victory against Argentine fighter Cristian Fabian Rios.
“The time for talking is done, and after many long months of hearing Curtis yell about all the things he’s going to do in the ring, I’m really looking forward to shutting his mouth on March 11,” Lemieux said. “I’ve told everyone my goal is to once again become middleweight champion of the world. Curtis is in the way, and I’m going to go right through him.”
Stevens, who rose from Brownsville, Brooklyn to become former NABF and now Continental Americas middleweight champ has also won two straight fights, with a thunderous knockout over then-undefeated Patrick Teixeira in May 2016 followed by a unanimous decision victory over James de la Rosa later in the year.
“The wait is finally over!” said Stevens. “No more talking. My hands will do the talking on March 11.”
With both Lemieux and Stevens appearing and convincingly winning on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, boxing fans quickly began calling for the two contenders to get together in the ring. Both fighters were happy to oblige, engaging first in a war of words, and now in a war of jabs, hooks and uppercuts.
“We often see fighters pretend not to like each other to help draw an audience – these two guys aren’t faking it; they don’t like each other at all,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “Given the thunder each holds in both hands and their desire to make a statement in the middleweight division, I think fans are going to be in for a knockout – and a spectacular one at that.”
"This is a fight of the year candidate,” said Camille Estephan of Eye of the Tiger Management. “We feel that 2017 is David’s year to take over through all the experiences he got in the last little while. He improved by leaps and bounds, we want another world title and this is the next step. We are happy to give the fans what they want.”