David Benavidez Beats Down David Lemieux, Stops Him in Three

Boxing Scene

GLENDALE, Arizona – David Benavidez vowed to leave the ring with a knockout and the title at stake.

It was mission accomplished for Phoenix’s favorite son, who tore through Montreal’s David Lemieux en route to a third-round knockout win. Benavidez—a former two-time WBC super middleweight titlist hell-bent on a third title reign—floored Lemieux early in round two and battered the former IBF middleweight titlist throughout before forcing a stoppage at 1:31 of round three to claim the interim WBC super middleweight title in the Showtime main event Saturday evening at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Benavidez nearly finished off Lemieux near the end of round one. Lemieux opened the round confident, while Benavidez was content to observe the incoming before eventually letting his hands go. The fight ceased being competitive by that point, with Lemeiux battered by a barrage of right hands, uppercuts and left hooks. Benavidez had Lemieux rocked at the end of the round one, with the Montreal native nearly stumbling to the canvas only to be saved by the bell.

Benavidez immediately went to work in round two. An uppercut by the undefeated Phoenix native sent Lemieux through the ropes and onto the canvas. The former IBF middleweight titlist beat the count but was seemingly a punch away from being brutally knocked out. Benavidez unloaded with a series of uppercuts, along with an assortment of power shots that opened a cut under the left eye of Lemieux who somehow avoided a second trip to the canvas.

Referee Harvey Dock gave Lemieux a long hard look in between rounds before permitting the action to continue. Benavidez went right back to work, pummeling Lemieux along the ropes and landing at will. The onslaught was severe enough to the point where Lemieux’s corner asked the ringside inspector to climb to the ring apron and signal to Dock to stop the fight.

The brutally one-sided affair was well reflected in the unofficial Compubox statistics. Benavidez landed 74-of-151 punches (49%), compared to just 26-of-109 (23.9%) for Lemieux, who landed 24-of-83 power shots (28.9%).

Benavidez landed a staggering 58-of-111 (52.3%) of his power punches.

A five-fight win streak comes to a close for Lemieux, who falls to 43-5 (36KOs).

“Tonight was just not my night,” admitted Lemieux. “I’m going to talk to my team to reassess. David Benavidez is a hell of a fighter.”

The lopsided defeat was likely his last day in the sun at this level, as Lemieux showed up a fleshy 166.2 pounds on Friday and seemingly unable to get back down to a weight more befitting his frame. Still, he did jump in the ring for the fight.

“Credit to David Lemieux, who was the only one with the balls to jump in the ring with me,” Benavidez told Showtime’s Jim Grey, as he improves to 26-0 (23KOs).

Benavidez is now the interim WBC super middleweight titlist and—more importantly—the mandatory WBC challenger to undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs). The sense is that such a fight won’t work its way around anytime soon, leaving Benavidez to set his sights on the rest of the division.

Names such as WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22KOs), former IBF super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant (21-1, 12KOs) and secondary WBA super middleweight titlist David Morrell were all mentioned in recent days and again on Saturday night.

“I’m just waiting on those guys to sign the contract,” insisted Benavidez. “Those bitches know what’s up.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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