Sometimes, it’s better to view a fight in a vacuum.
For fans waiting to see the talented David Benavidez in with bigger names, perceived bigger threats, Saturday (Showtime, 10 PM EST) might look like marking time. He’ll be heavily favored to win and in conclusive fashion.
Look closer and this one could be fun.
In one corner, an undefeated two-time former super middleweight titlist with a knockout percentage just below 90%, both titles lost to human flaw. In the other, a former middleweight titlist whose win column is made up of knockouts more than 80% of the time riding a five-fight win streak.
There are worse ways to spend an evening than watching two gunslingers unload.
Let’s get into it.
Stats and Stakes
Previous Titles: WBC super middleweight (2017-18, 1 Defense; 2019-20)
Weight: 166 ¼ lbs.
Hails from: Phoenix, Arizona
Record: 25-0, 22 KO
Press Rankings: #1 (TBRB, Ring), #2 (ESPN), #7 (BoxRec)
Record in Major Title Fights: 3-0, 1 KO
Last Five Opponents: 117-7-5 (.927)
Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Anthony Dirrell KO9
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: None
Previous Titles: IBF middleweight (2015)
Height: 5’9 ½
Weight: 166 ¼ lbs.
Hails from: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Record: 43-4, 36 KO, 2 KOBY
Press Rankings: #6 (Ring), #7 (ESPN)
Record in Major Title Fights: 1-2, 1 KOBY
Last Five Opponents: 140-16-5 (.885)
Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam UD12; Gennadiy Golovkin TKO by 8; Billy Joe Saunders L12; Gary O'Sullivan KO1
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Joachim Alcine L12
The Pick: David Lemieux isn’t what he was when he was fresher but he still has the left hook that has been his bread and butter. Lemieux will bring the fight because that’s what he does but this is a puncher’s slim chance sort of night. Lemieux will need a perfect shot to offset a fight where his opponent holds almost every advantage. Benavidez is longer, more fluid, is a devastating puncher, and the speed gap should be palpable. Watching clips of Lemieux’s last few fights, and then Benavidez’s, and not only should Benavidez be quicker but Benavidez has seen more speed recently. It will be hard for Benavidez not to see what’s coming and Lemieux will have a hard time once the younger man hits his rhythm. This should be fun for a round or two. It likely won’t last more than three. Expect Benavidez to win big.
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Rold Picks 2022: 20-6
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org