It’s been an exciting ride in recent weeks for fans of the Montreal boxing scene, and things are only getting better. It’s just February but already 2015 is shaping up to be a great year with Jean Pascal vs Sergey Kovalev on the horizon. Now news comes this week that David Lemieux and Adonis Stevenson will return to the ring in the near future, both with intriguing opponents.
Eye of the Tiger Management, along with Golden Boy Promotions, announced on Monday that Quebec’s David Lemieux would receive his first world championship opportunity when he fights Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the IBF World Middleweight Title, possibly as soon as this April.
“After consulting with the team, we are very pleased to accept this opportunity,” said Camille Estephan, Eye of the Tiger president, via press release. “It is the dream of every boxer to become world champion and we are planning to do everything in our power to bring this belt to Quebec. David is ready for the challenge.”
It was originally thought Britain’s Billie Joe Saunders would receive the first opportunity to challenge for the IBF Title, but he’s instead opted to wait for a chance to face the winner of the April 11 showdown between Andy Lee and Peter Quillin for the WBO Middleweight Title.
“The fight is on!” said David Lemieux via social media. “N’Dam, you can run, but I’ll catch you.”
Lemieux, who had suffered high-profile losses to Marco Antonio Rubio and Joachim Alcine, is riding an eight fight win streak, all but one inside the distance. In his last bout, Lemieux travelled to New York City to take out the tough Gabriel Rosado in 10 rounds in a mild upset. He recently signed on with Golden Boy Promotions, though his former promoter, Yvon Michel, has claimed Lemieux is still under contract to him.
Lemieux is known for his deadly power and has stopped opponents in 31 of his 33 victories. Naturally, he will look to do the same to N’Dam who showed durability in his battle with Peter Quillin in October of 2012. N’Dam was floored six times in that match, but he kept getting up and finished on his feet.
In N’Dam’s last outing, he dominated former world title challenger Curtis Stevens.
No date or venue has been named.
The next match for Adonis Stevenson was also announced this week, as he will defend his WBC light-heavyweight championship in Quebec City against Sakio Bika as part of the Premier Championship Boxing series on NBC. This will be Stevenson’s fifth title defense since winning the lineal light-heavyweight crown with a first round, one-punch knockout of Chad Dawson in June of 2013. His last outing saw him add to his reputation as one of boxing’s most powerful punchers as he scored a clean knockout over Russia’s tough Dmitry Sukhotsky.
Bika is winless in his last two bouts, a draw and loss to Anthony Dirrell, but “The Scorpion” is known for his toughness and willingness to fight dirty. He is also highly experienced, having faced several world champions, including Joe Calzaghe, Lucian Bute and Andre Ward.
Fellow light-heavyweight power puncher Artur Beterbiev will headlines undercard, as he takes on former top contender Gabriel Campillo. The exciting Montreal-based Russian will seek to add to his streak of wins when he takes on the wily and experienced Spaniard in just his eighth pro fight.
— Shawn Smith