Old Pro vs Monster

Phoenix, Arizona | For a few seconds, I felt like I was watching a Sergio Leone movie. When the cowboys slowly walk towards the fencing venue. Just missing the faint music to accompany the warmth of Ennio Morricone.

We were in one of the huge corridors of the Phoenix airport. I got off a long, boring flight of over five hours.

Camille Estephan, Mark Ramsay, Samuel Decari, and David Lemieux were hauling their small suitcase on their way to the car rental place. Last midnight in Montreal. Nine hours in Arizona.

David Lemieux thrives in this commando atmosphere. the mission. He remembers the atmosphere before his fights in Las Vegas, especially the one against Spike O’Sullivan. It is Verona when Curtis Stevens was sent off in three rounds. The Madison Square Garden in New York was filled to capacity by Gennady Golovkin.

Phoenix, it’s the first time. And there, while waiting for his baggage, he already let himself capture the energy of the city, the people, the fans and the professionals: “Anyway, no one will say I’m a local boxer. I’ve gone everywhere to face the best,” he whispered.

Benavidez’s father

The next day, yesterday, we arrived two minutes before Clan Lemieux. Amazed at the amazing wall covering the entire wall of Central Gym in Phoenix. Zora Foley, Jose Benavidez, the greatest heroes who have ever passed Arizona find themselves at the wall. It tells wonderful legends.

I was convinced to admire Mark Ramsey.

“I know this gym very well. I spent eight weeks there preparing Jean Pascal before his fight against Carl Froche in England. If my memories are correct, David Benavidez’s father is the owner or manager of the gym,” Marc Ramsay quickly said.

A real boxing gym. I would say the most impressive I’ve seen in over 40 years. Two boxing rings, paper-covered walls, a warmth that settles despite the air conditioning and that Mexican presence that crushes everything else.

This is where David Benavidez started boxing with his father when he was three years old.

At the age of 15, the teen weighed 250 pounds. At age 20 he was world champion, at age 23 he was suspended for cocaine use, and at age 24 he was champion again, but he jumped weight at the next defense and found himself at 25 in front of David Lemieux to get his hands on the temporary WBC belt.


David Benavidez with his wife Karina and son Anthony.

Julie Bertrand’s photo

David Benavidez with his wife Karina and son Anthony.

“David Benavidez is a raw, natural and extraordinary talent. Sometimes he relies a lot on his talent alone. This time, get ready in earnest,” explains Librado Andrade sweetly. He is the former opponent of Lucien Pott. He was seconds away from hitting him in the twelfth and final round.

What is Andrade doing in Central Gym? PBC’s Al Haymon sent him from Vancouver to monitor Benavidez and his entourage. It’s not said the same way, but it is what it is.

Old Pro vs Monster

David Lemieux is 33 years old. He is an old professional though still young. He sees boxing as a great passion, but also a precious livelihood. By boxing he paid for his houses: “And through boxing I put food on the table for my children. Since I’ve been there especially, I have a cute little third child,” he said.

It’s touching to see this ruthless warrior soften when he shows pictures of two-week-old Alexander sleeping on his father’s chest. Zander, his goal was to ensure that young people in the schoolyards would not shorten his first name: “We liked Alexander, but it would have ended in Alex …,” he says with a smile.

Lemieux snuck into the gym and started working out. As an old professional.

Then, after leaving, David Benavidez and his gang arrived. Sunglasses, big smile, WBC green belt on his coach’s shoulder. sum show off. We have to say they are at home and that Benavidez grew up in this gym.

Is it true that your father ran it?

– Of course… I was always here when I was a kid…

This has not changed over the generations. Karina and his wife and two-year-old son Anthony accompany husband and father. As in time.

And it reminded me of another wonderfully talented thug. When Billy Joe Saunders came to face David Lemieux at Laval, his son accompanied him. He even kicked Michael Hamlin in the leg. Quebec Boxing Commissioner Maigret did not smile. Needless to say, he rarely smiles. It was running smoothly.

Furthermore, Régie has yet to agree to the massive fights at the June 23 party at the casino. It must be remembered that it is urgent even in Arizona.

Then Benavidez entered the ring. Y is large, y is large. He is talented and looks like a thug.

It is widely preferred by bookmakers.

Let’s say yesterday it was 40 degrees in the desert and it could be hotter in the ring on Saturday night.

in the notebook- My friends Elvis Presley connoisseurs will forgive me. On Saturday afternoon I will miss Expo Elvis in St-Gilbert Room at 5415, Jean Talon East. Boxing curse. I warned my friend Dr. Sylvain Simard that I risk losing my hunting trip with his merry band in Saguenay on June 23rd. Again, the curse of boxing. And on the nineteenth, because of Peterbiev, I could not be in the great race of François Dumontier. And on August 13, you must be in Cali, Colombia in order to fight Oscar Rivas. Boxing damned, not even time to get old…

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