By Ian S Palmer
Former IBF Middleweight Champion David Lemieux of Montreal, Canada is back in the ring this Saturday, October 22nd when he takes on Cristian Rios of Argentina at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Lemieux lost his title when he was stopped by Gennady Golovkin in eight rounds in a title unification bout in October of last year and has since stopped Glen Tapia in four rounds back in May. Rios, a southpaw, last fought in May and won a six-round unanimous decision over Luis Moreno.
The 27-year-old Lemieux enters the ring with a record of 35-3 along with 32 big Kos while the 33-year-old Rios is 21-7-3 and has just 6 Kos to his name. Lemieux is ranked number four in the world by both the WBC and WBO in the middleweight division and is hoping for another world title shot in the near future. However, it’s unlikely he’ll be facing Golovkin again in a rematch. Possible opponents include Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as well as WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders.
Rios has 174 rounds under his belt since turning pro 2008 and he’s a light hitter with a current knockout ratio of just 19 per cent. However, his height and reach are both unlisted. He has a tough chin as he’s never been stopped, but it’s unlikely that you’ve ever heard of any of his opponents up to now other than perhaps Tommy Langford. Rios is taking a huge step up in class here and this is basically a huge mismatch on paper and it’s hard to see how the fight was approved. However, anything can happen in the ring once the bell sounds to start round one.
Rios’ seven losses have come at the hands of Langford, Billi Facundo Godoy (twice), Guido Nicholas Pitto, Matias Ezequiel Franco (twice) and Richard Vidal. He’s also fought to three draws. Lemieux has had problems making weight in the past, but he’s hard-hitting brawler with a lot of power and questionable chin. He usually blasts most of his opponents out, but he’s also been stopped himself a couple of times as Marco Antonio Rubio of Mexico stopped him in the seventh round back in 2011. His other loss came the same year when Joachim Alcine beat him by a 12-round majority decision.
Lemieux stands 5-feet-nine-and-a-half-inches tall with a reach of 70 inches. He turned pro back in 2007 and has fought 132 rounds since then. His knockout power is quite obvious as his current stoppage ratio stands at 84 per cent. He’s beaten some journeymen boxers along the way and was beaten when he stepped up in class against Rubio, Alcine and Golovkin. However, he did manage to stop Gabriel Rosado in 10 rounds back in December of 2014 and beat Hassan N’Dam by a 12-round unanimous decision for the vacant IBF crown in June of 2015.
This appears to be a huge mismatch due to Lemieux’ power and Rios’ lack of it. Lemieux is also younger with world title bout experience, but his chin is very questionable. Rios has lost seven bouts, but has yet to be stopped. Rios has been brought in as a sacrificial lamb here and if everything goes according to plan, Lemieux will stop him at any point after the contest starts.