Fireworks are expected when heavy hitters David Benavidez and David Lemieux crash Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.
This Saturday, May 21, live on SHOWTIME from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, at the pinnacle of a Premier Boxing Champions event, undefeated two-time world champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavídez (25-0, 22 KOs) takes on former world champion David Lemieux (43-4, 36 KOs) in a guaranteed explosive 12-round battle for the vacant WBC World Super Middleweight title.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT) will see an undefeated and undefeated Cuban prospect Yoelvis Gomez go to war with mexico jorge cota in the 10-round super welterweight co-main event.
David Benavídez, 25, is on a mission to become the undisputed world champion and next-level superstar. The problem is that the best of the best aren’t exactly lining up to meet his challenge.
A child prodigy in the Benavídez fighting family, the Phoenix, Arizona native made his professional debut at age 16 in Mexico (where a 16-year-old could fight legally) and became a world champion at age 20.
A year after beating Ronald Gavril for the vacant WBC super middleweight belt, however, he was stripped of his title after testing positive for the banned substance benzoylecgonine, the main ingredient in cocaine.
Then, after regaining that title in a dominating stoppage of Anthony Dirrell eighteen months later, he would lose his belt again without losing the fight when he failed to gain weight for his first defense. in 2020 against Roamer Alexis Angulo.
Benavídez has worked his way to the top ever since. Winning the interim WBC super middleweight belt and adding a heavyweight name like David Lemieux to his resume should bring him a significant step closer to his goal. Doing all of this within minutes of his native Phoenix will make a win that much sweeter.
David Lemieux was turning heads with his knockouts long before winning the vacant IBF world middleweight title in a 4-shot unanimous decision over Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in 2015.
The Montreal, Que., native would, however, lose the belt on his first defense, running into a buzzsaw to Gennadiy Golovkin. Despite an eighth-round TKO loss, Lemieux, with his one-punch power, continued to be considered one of the most dangerous fighters in the game.
Shortly after a loss to Billy Joe Saunders, he moved up to 168, where he is currently 3-0 going into this Saturday’s game. Claiming to be rejuvenated by the weight gain, the 33-year-old is looking to seize this opportunity against Benavidez.
At stake is the vacant WBC World Super Middleweight interim title and, down the road, a chance to win the full 168-pound world title.
Benavídez is considered by many to be one of the best offensive fighters in the game. From behind a stiff jab, he throws combinations with supreme fluidity, blending speed and placement in waves of aggression that keep the opposition perpetually defensive.
Although he fights high and does his best at arm’s length, he is also brutally effective inside, where he punishes the body with heavy, hollow punches.
Benavídez is solid in defense. He moves his head well, rolls with punches, and is adept at blocking incoming shots with his gloves and arms.
“ It could be the fight of the year because of what’s at stake and because of the type of fighters we are. ”
David Benavidez, two-time undefeated WBC super middleweight world champion
Lemieux’s entire game is built around his two heavy hands and the rocket delivery of those explosive weapons. Although his right hand is very strong, the Canadian’s left is particularly powerful, remaining one of the best one-punch weapons in the sport.
He has a good jab and works the body well, but everything he does in the ring is designed to create opportunities for his explosive left and clubbed right.
Lemieux has a big defensive back and, like many knockout hitters, he’s willing to shoot for the chance to land a shot.
“It’s my first title fight at home and it’s a dream come true for me. I see flaws in David’s game and I’m sure he sees flaws in me. This is going to be a great fight for the fans this might be the fight of the year because of what’s at stake and because of the type of fighters we are we are two bulls going out there to see who has the most heart.
“I expect a great fight. David Benavídez… comes to fight. It’s also my style. Two bulls go there and may the best man win that title. I feel like I’ve been underestimated in my career. But the only way to come back is with a solid win against an elite level opponent. That’s what I plan to do on May 21.
Don’t expect a cautious and tactical chess match this Saturday. Benavídez-Lemieux is going to be a test of offensive will with the potential for a brutal knockout with every rally.
Expect Benavídez to do what he does best: pull off combinations to overwhelm his opponent while throwing heavier bombs to speed up the damage. By pushing Lemieux backwards, forcing him to retreat, unable to plant his feet, the Canadian’s power will be greatly diminished. Benavidez has never faced someone as brutal as Lemieux and the threat of a big punch should keep him sharp and focused.
Lemieux will have to save his shot to the face of Benavídez to deter his forward march. He will also have to dig into the body of the young fighter to slow him down and bring his hands down. All of this, of course, to make it easier to deliver the big hits upstairs.
The truth about this fight is that no matter how well Benavídez performs, Lemieux will always be in the fight. Even if it plays out like a one-sided boxing exhibition in favor of Benavídez, Lemieux will have the power of a punch to close the show, instantly, at any time.
This Saturday, Benavídez-Lemieux will produce fireworks. Enjoy.
For a closer look at Benavídez vs Lemeiux, check out our fight night page.