David Benavidez and David Lemieux have signed contracts for a 168-pound fight slated for spring on Showtime, a source told ESPN, an event that will likely land in Benavidez’s native Phoenix.
The battle of the former champions could bring Benavidez closer to a shot against Canelo Alvarez.
ESPN’s No.2 heavyweight Benavidez has twice held a 168-pound title and has never lost it in the ring. Instead, the 25-year-old was stripped naked once after testing positive for cocaine and a second time after failing to gain weight.
Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) was scheduled to face Jose Uzcategui last month, but the fight was dropped after Uzcategui tested positive for a performance enhancing substance. Kyrone Davis intervened on short notice and was stopped in the seventh round by Benavidez.
Lemieux (43-4, 35 KO) promises to offer much more resistance.
The former middleweight champion is 3-0 since rising to 168 pounds and ranked No 8 by ESPN, but he hasn’t fought anyone nearing the top 10 yet. 32 years old will be installed as an outsider against Benavidez in what presents itself as a fight while in action.
The Montreal native was one of boxing’s biggest punchers when he campaigned at 160 pounds. This includes a spectacular knockout of Curtis Stevens in 2017. During that middleweight run, he also earned a stoppage victory over Gabe Rosado, but suffered a one-sided TKO loss to Gennady Golovkin and an overall loss to Billy Joe. Saunders.