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David Lemieux-Marco Antonio Rubio Set for April 8


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David Lemieux-Marco Antonio Rubio Set for April 8 at Bell Centre.By Lem Satterfield


Unbeaten Armenian-born star middleweight (160 pounds) prospect, David Lemieux, of Canada, will pursue his 26th victory without a loss, his 24th knockout, and his fifth straight stoppage win against Marco Antonio Rubio, of Mexico, in an April 8, WBC eliminator bout at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, according to BoxingScene.com


Lemiex, who turned 22 on Dec. 22, will meet a hard-puncher in the 30-year-old Rubio (49-5-1, 42 KOs), who has won six straight fights, including five of them by knockout, since, himself, being stopped in the ninth round of a failed title bid against then-WBO and WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs) in February of 2009.


In his last fight, Rubio scored a January 1, eighth-round stoppage against previously unbeaten, Dominican Wilson Santana (11-1, seven KOs) in Mexico.


"David Lemieux has defeated each and every one of the opponents put in front of him since the start of his career in thrilling fashion," Lemieux's promoter, Yvon Michel, told BoxingScene.com.


"In Rubio, he will face veteran warrior, himself a KO specialist who is at his physical peak at 30 years of age," said Michel. "I have no doubt that our young protégé will shine brighter than ever and show the entire world what all the hype is about."


Last month, Michel told FanHouse that Lemieux had the long-range goal of landing a 2011, title bout against then-southpaw WBC king Sergio Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs).


In victory over Rubio, Michel said that he hoped to pursue the 35-year-old Martinez, who is coming off of a Nov. 20, HBO televised second-round knockout of rival southpaw Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KOs) that avenged a December, 2009 majority decision loss during which both southpaw fighters were down in the first round.


Since then, however, Martinez, the FanHouse 2010 Fighter of the Year, has been declared the WBC's Emeritus Champion, essentially stripping the Argentinian-born fighter of the crown.


In addition, the WBC has elevated Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs) to the status of full champion and mandated that Zbik face Julio Cesar Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) in his first defense.


According to match maker Sean Gibbons of Zanfer promotions, which co-promotes Chavez with Top Rank Promotions, Zbik-Chavez could take place on May 14, or, May 21, likely in Toluca, Mex.


Martinez yielded his title for going ahead with an HBO televised, March 12 bout opposite Ukranian-born southpaw WBO junior middleweight (154 pounds) king Sergei Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs) of Germany that is slated for the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.


The WBC has given the Zbik-Chavez winner the leeway to make one optional defense prior to facing Lemieux, meaning that Martinez, should he get beyond Dzinziruk in their clash for the WBC's "diamond belt," could face the winner of Zbik-Chavez perhaps in the fall.


Lemieux would then get his shot against the man who emerges from that situation, with all of the above depending on Chavez (pictured below, at right) getting beyond a Jan. 29 fight against Ohio's Billy Lyell (22-8, four KOs) at Estadio Banorte in Chavez Jr.'s home town of Culiacan, Mex.


"Look, we'll see what happens. Zbik and Chavez are scheduled to fight in May, so, Lemieux is fighting against Rubio in April," said Michel. "What the WBC has told us is that the winner of Zbik-Chavez can do an optional, which could be Martinez or someone else. But we're next in line after that."


Whomever emerges from the fray, Lemieux believes that he will be ready for his shot.


"I am thrilled with this news and very excited about all the possibilities that are waiting for me after I win this fight. I would like to thank GYM [Groupe Yvon Michel Promotions], as well as my entire team, which has steered me brilliantly to where I am standing right now," said Lemieux.


"I know that it is now up to me alone to pass this test and enter the next chapter of my career," said Lemieux. "Rubio has a ton of experience and they tell me that he packs a hard punch, but now we'll see if he can take one too."


Lemieux has one, route-going effort -- February's 10-round, unanimous decision, shutout rout of Jason Naugler -- to go with nine first-round knockouts and 12 other stoppage in the second round.


Only one each of Lemieux's fights has gone into the third, fourth, and, fifth rounds, respectively, where he finished Roglio Sanchez in January of 2009, ended his bout with Rodney Green in May of 2008, and, stopped Baldimir Hernandez in August of 2009.


In his most recent victory on December 3, at Bell Centre, in Montreal, Canada, Lemieux scored a second-round knockout of 37-year-old Purnell Gates, of Grandville, Mich.


Stopped for the first time in his career, Gates entered their bout with a record of 18-1 that included 13 stoppages, and was riding a 15-fight winning streak that had included 11 knockouts.


Lemieux often spars with promotional stablemate and WBC lightheavyweight (175 pounds) champion, Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KOs), a 28-year-old who is coming off of last Saturday night's disputed, Showtime televised majority draw with 45-year-old Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs) that was contested at the Pepsi Colesium in Quebec City, Canada.


There is no doubt in the mind of Michel that Lemieux can take his place, popularity-wise, alongside Pascal and Romanian-born, southpaw IBF super middleweight (168 pounds) champion Lucian Bute (27-0, 22 KOs) of Canada.


The 30-year-old Bute will pursue his fifth straight knockout and the seventh defense of the crown he won by 11th-round stoppage over Alejandro Berrio in October of 2007 when he takes on southpaw 35-year-old Brian Magee (34-3-1, 24 KOs) of Northern Ireland on Showtime on March 19.


This year alone, Lemieux is 5-0, with four straight knockouts.


That run began with Lemieux's win over Naugler, during which the fighters weighed in as 164-pound super middleweights, and which Lemieux won, 100-89, on all three judges' cards.


In June and April, respectively, Lemieux was back to his knockout ways as he scored second-, and, first-round stoppages of Walid Smichet and Elvin Ayala at 164 and 159 pounds.


A telling statistic about Ayala is that he battled to an October of 2007, 10-round draw with ex-junior middleweight champ, Sergio Mora (21-1-1, six KOs), who, in turn, recently battled to September's 12-round draw with five-time titlist Shane Mosley.


Ayala had only been stopped once prior to facing Lemieux, that, being in the 12th-round of a March, 2008 loss to then-IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (31-2, 25 KOs) of Germany.


In October, Lemieux came up with a stunning, first-round knockout over former world title contender, Hector Camacho Jr., the son of the former world champion by the same name.


Camacho entered the fight with a record of 52-3-1, with 28 knockouts, and had been riding a nine-fight winning streak that included three stoppages. Camacho had been stopped for the only other time in his career in June of 2006 in the eighth round by Andrey Tsurkan.


"Watch that David Lemieux. He's exceptional in every aspect of the game. He's young, strong and confident and he's trained well," said Michel.


"David has got a got a great environment around him," said Michel. "His manager and trainer is Russ Anber, and, he also has a trainer, Pedro Diaz, who the same trainer who works with Jean Pascal and [heavyweight contender] Odlanier Solis."


A Cuban-born, former 2004 Olympic gold medalist who is coming off of last month's 10th-round disqualification victory over Ray Austin (28-5-4, 18 KOs), Solis (17-0, 12 KOs) has a March 19 challenge for the WBC belt of Vitali Klitschko (41-2, 38 KOs).




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He'll be chasing his 25th KO, not his 24th as the article says, but Lemieux has already beaten better opponents and had far more impressive victories than Zbik, who is now regarded as the full champion, now that Martinez was stripped or "upgraded" or whatever the hell the WBC did recently.

IMO, Lemieux is more than ready to beat Zbik.

He needs better opponents before he faces the likes of Martinez and the REAL top fighters, but the world title itself has been watered down so much that he's well within reach of winning it.

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