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Fighting Over the Fighter Lemiuex

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Popular man, that David Lemieux. The model-faced basher who lumped up Gabe Rosado in Brooklyn in December was wooed by Golden Boy and hopped aboard the Oscar train. But ex promoter Yvon Michel tried to blow a whistle on that move, and cried foul, and is saying that the heavy-handed kid is contractually bound to Michel’s firm, GYM.

Here is a release which GYM sent out today to signal they still have dibs on Lemieux.

GYM sets record straight about World middleweight contender David Lemieux

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONTREAL (January 19, 2015):

Following the announcement by Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) about David Lemieux’s leaving Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), as well as numerous interviews given by EOTTM president Camille Estephan, and the most

recent announcement by Golden Boy Promotions about its signing of Mr. Lemieux. GYM wishes to set the record straight, David Lemieux is still under contract with GYM, and has been since December 2011.

Since becoming involved in his career, GYM has ensured David Lemieux’s best interests were protected; whether it involved training, development, the garnering of prestigious and lucrative fights, or just insuring what was best for him financially.

The contract executed in 2011 was renewed, extended and is still in effect. Subject to certain specific modifications, said renewals/extensions were negotiated, accepted and implemented by David Lemieux’s manager, Mr. Camille Estephan (EOTTM), who it appears is now attempting to elude his obligations.

At the very moment that the development and maturation process of David Lemieux reached the point where he became qualified and positioned for major fights, and was in line for a maj or world championship fight, Camille Estephan advised Yvon Michel (GYM), on January 6, 2015, that David Lemieux was unilaterally “leaving GYM”, without giving any valid reasons or justifications.

This announcement by Camille Estephan that David Lemieux is trying to leave GYM (and sign with Golden Boy) is very disappointing and surprising considering that David Lemieux is still under contract with GYM.

David Lemieux or Camille Estephan never expressed any dissatisfaction, all along, with regards to the promotion of Mr. Lemieux’s career by GYM. Camille Estephan and David Le mieux are breaching their obligations with

regards to their agreement with GYM; Golden Boy Promotions would become involved with David Lemieux while he is still under contract to GYM

Since the beginning of his career, 8 years ago, GYM has made a major investment in the development, classification and promotion of its boxer, and David Lemieux is trying to leave GYM at the very moment he is in position for a

major world championship fight.

These are the facts, and this is not acceptable to, and will not be tolerated by GYM.

In light of the foregoing, GYM will do everything it can legally to have its rights respected and protected with regards to its contractual interests in David Lemieux.

Eye of the Tiger counter-punched:

Montreal, January 19, 2015 – Following the publication of a press release by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM ) about David Lemieux’s file, EOTTM is obliged to present some clarifications refuting their claims.

David Lemieux is not under contract with Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM). Lemieux’s agreement with GYM expired in 2013 and there has never been a verbal or written agreement of a contract renewal between Eye of the Tiger Management and GYM. Eye of the Tiger Management is confident it has met all its obligations in relation to GYM and its contract with David Lemieux and that GYM has no further rights to promote Lemieux’s fights.

Although Eye of the Tiger Management and David Lemieux are grateful for services rendered by Groupe Yvon Michel, they studied their options and prefer to take a new direction for the future of his career.

EOTTM would also like to mention that it will leave the matter in the hands of the legal system. Camille Estephan however, will be available to answer any questions.

These came on the heels of the GBP release, which touted the Lemieux addition, from Saturday.

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 17) – Golden Boy Promotions alongside Eye of the Tiger Management held an intimate roundtable at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, to discuss the recent signing of David Lemieux (33-2, 31 KOs) to Golden Boy Promotions. The impressive middleweight contender Lemieux, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Partner Bernard Hopkins, President of Eye of the Tiger Management Camille Estephan, and Senior Vice President of Golden Boy Promotions Eric Gomez were all in attendance.

The hard-hitting Montreal native’s next bout was confirmed to be broadcasted on HBO and Lemieux expressed his interest in fighting the best in the middleweight division. Below is what the Montreal native, his promoters and his management had to say:

DAVID LEMIEUX, Middleweight Contender

“I have put in the work. What you saw in Brooklyn was only 50 percent of what I can do and I feel like I can be a lot better. I want to show that in my next fight.

“I fear no man, I want to go after the top of the food chain. Oscar and Bernard came up fighting the best and I am of the same mind.

“Canelo is a younger, hungrier fighter. He is explosive. He is a tough fighter and it would be a good match up.

“Everyone is on the list. I want to fight the best.

“The reason I started so young was because I was a trouble maker. I was fighting in the streets. My neighbor was a boxer and he told me to come fight real fighters. I got my ass kicked a few times but I fell in love with it.

“We want to make a good run at 160 and then think about moving up in weight.

“I have always liked power punchers and I respect others’ styles and other champions, but I never mimic them.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions

“We are exploring every option. We can go to Montreal, we can go back to New York City, we can come to Las Vegas; that’s the beauty of David. He can fight anywhere and people will come out to watch him.

“He’s still growing. We haven’t seen his full potential which is very exciting. He has explosiveness and power.

“We will be working hand and hand with Eye of the Tiger Management. We are partners and we want the best fights, the best deals. We will be working together in the best interest for David.

“A future fight with Canelo is possible. Canelo wants to fight the best. Lemieux wants to fight the best. For now we want to focus on 160-pounds weight class and on Cotto, Andy lee and Golovkin.”

BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Partner

“We got this guy [Lemieux], he is tough. I know Gabriel Rosado and he handled him easily. I know what I am looking at. I have an eye for talent and he has it.

“We are going to continue and show you that we will put on the best fights and give the fans quality. I’m in it to make the best fights. The ratings speak for themselves. The fans speak for themselves. Judge us by the quality of the matches you see and don’t get caught up in the ‘feelings’ of it.

“I want to put a call out to everyone, that is how Oscar was brought up, that is how I was brought up, fighting the best.

“Three things about David: one, he signed with Golden Boy Promotions; two, he has talent in many ways, not only is he a fan favorite he is a good defensive fighter; three, he has good looks.

“I am seeing now the molding of another legacy, his legacy. But at the end of the day he has an opportunity in the middle weight division, I am glad to be here with a middleweight who I feel already has a lot of respect.

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN, President of Eye of the Tiger Management

“Canelo is on the list. Cotto is on the list. Golovkin is on the list. Andy Lee is on the list. Everyone is on the list.

“I definitely think he is the most popular boxer, the numbers prove it. He has a lot of potential and the sky is the limit.

“I got a call yesterday from someone in the boxing world about how exciting it is to be working with Golden Boy and he said ‘David is like a sunshine that beams on the world of boxing’ and it is very heartwarming. It’s heartwarming to sit down with Oscar, Bernard and Eric, whom I have gotten to know very well since the Rosado fight. This is great group of people and I think that we can build something together that will make a huge impact in the boxing world.

“David is the one guy, that as soon as I saw him the first time in the gym, the first sit-up he did and the last sit-up he did were exactly the same, he doesn’t cheat. He has the ultimate confidence because he doesn’t cheat himself and I have the ultimate respect for him. I am very proud of him as a person.

So there you go. GYM cites a contractual renewal, not saying when that occured. EYE says there was no renewal, written or otherwise. Looks like these guys have some rounds to duke it out, over the services of a suddenly VERY popular pugilist, who we can see snagging a date with Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin….

 

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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