Fireworks are expected when heavy hitters David Benavidez and David Lemieux throw down Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.
This Saturday, May 21, live on SHOWTIME from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, atop a Premier Boxing Champions event, unbeaten 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 Interim WBC World Super Middleweight Title.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT) will see heavy-handed, undefeated Cuban prospect Yoelvis Gómez go to war with Mexico’s Jorge Cota in the 10-round super welterweight co-main event.
The 25-year-old David Benavídez is on a mission to become the undisputed champion of the world and a next-level superstar. The problem is that the best of the best aren’t exactly lining up to answer his challenge.
A child prodigy from the fighting Benavídez family, the Phoenix, Arizona native made his pro debut at 16 in Mexico (where a 16-year-old could fight legally) and became a world champ at 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 primary ingredient in cocaine.
Then, after recapturing that title in a dominant stoppage of Anthony Dirrell eighteen months later, he would again lose his belt without losing the fight when he failed to make weight for his first defense in 2020 against Roamer Alexis Angulo.
Benavídez has been working his way back to the top ever since. Winning the Interim WBC Super Middleweight belt and adding a weighty name like David Lemieux to his resume should get him significantly closer to his goal. Doing all of this just minutes outside of his native Phoenix will make a victory even sweeter.
David Lemieux was turning heads with his highlight reel knockouts well before winning the vacant IBF middleweight world title in a 4-knockdown unanimous decision over Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam in 2015.
The Montreal, Quebec native would lose the belt in his first defense, though, running into a buzzsaw in Gennadiy Golovkin. Despite suffering an eighth-round TKO loss, Lemieux, with his one-punch power, continued to be regarded as one of the most dangerous fighters in the game.
Not long after a setback against Billy Joe Saunders, he moved to 168, where he’s currently 3-0 leading up to this Saturday’s contest. Claiming to be rejuvenated by the move up in weight, the 33-year-old is looking to pounce on this opportunity against Benavidez.
At stake is the vacant Interim WBC World Super Middleweight title and, down the road, a shot at the full 168-pound world title.
Benavídez is regarded by many as one of the very best offensive fighters in the game. Behind a stiff jab, he throws combinations with supreme fluidity, mixing velocity and placement in waves of aggression that keep opposition perpetually defensive.
Despite fighting tall and doing his best work at arm’s length, he’s also brutally efficient on the inside, where he punishes the body with heavy, digging shots.
Benavídez is solid on defense. He moves his head well, rolls with punches, and is adept at blocking incoming shots with his gloves and arms.
“ This could be the Fight of the Year because of what’s at stake and because of the type of fighters we are. ” Undefeated Two-Time WBC World Super Middleweight Champion - David Benavidez
Lemieux’s entire game is built around his two heavy hands and the rocket-like delivery of those explosive weapons. Although his right hand is very strong, the Canadian’s left is especially potent, remaining one of the very 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 clubbing right.
Lemieux has significant defensive liabilities and, like many knockout punchers, he’s willing to take a shot for the opportunity to land a shot.
“This is my first title fight back 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 could be the Fight of the Year because of what’s at stake and because of the type of fighters we are. We’re two bulls going in there to see who has the most heart.”
“I’m expecting a great fight. David Benavídez...comes to fight. That’s my style too. Two bulls going in there and may the best man win this title. I feel like I’ve been underestimated during my career. But the only way to come back is with a strong victory against an opponent of an elite level. That’s what I’m planning on doing on May 21.”
Don’t expect a cautious, tactical chess match this Saturday. Benavídez -Lemieux is going to be an offensive test of wills with the potential for a brutal knockout in every exchange.
Expect Benavídez to do what he does best—fire off combinations to overwhelm his opponent while dropping in heavier bombs to accelerate the damage. By pushing Lemieux backwards, forcing him to fight in retreat, unable to plant his feet, the Canadian’s power will be significantly diminished. Benavidez has never faced anyone as heavy-handed as Lemieux and the threat of the big punch should keep him sharp and focused.
Lemieux will have to keep his jab popping in Benavídez’s face to dissuade his forward march. He’ll also have to dig to the younger fighter’s body to slow him and bring his hands down. All of this, of course, in order to facilitate the delivery of big shots upstairs.
The truth about this fight is that no matter how well Benavídez performs, Lemieux will always be in the contest. Even if playing out as a one-sided boxing exhibition in Benavídez’s favor, Lemieux will have the one-punch power to close the show, instantly, at any point.
This Saturday, Benavídez-Lemieux WILL produce fireworks. Enjoy.
For a closer look at Benavídez vs Lemeiux, check out our fight night page.
- Benavidez vs Lemieux