David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) will make his 168-pound debut when he takes on John “The Gorilla” Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs) for the WBA interim super-middleweight world title in the scheduled 12-round co-main event of Canelo vs. Jacobs on Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, shown live in the US on DAZN and Sky Sports in the UK.
“There comes a time when every fighter must move up in weight, and now is that time for David Lemieux,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Lemieux was the hardest-hitting puncher in the 160-pound division, and I’m absolutely certain he will be the biggest puncher at 168 pounds. John Ryder will be in for a tough fight on May 4. Also, this undercard will also feature some of our brightest stars, including Vergil Ortiz Jr., who with only 12 fights will face a tough veteran in Mauricio Herrera. Golden Boy and DAZN have crafted an excellent night of action, so don’t miss out on this one!”
Lemieux, 30, was last seen on the televised pay-per-view undercard of Canelo vs. GGG2 when he scored a first-round knockout victory against Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan. The native of Montreal, Canada promises to be stronger than even in his super middleweight debut.
“I’ve seen [John] Ryder fight,” said David Lemieux. “He’s a credible rival, but I’m going to make a statement out of what I’m going to do with him. At 168, I’m going to be the strongest that I’ve ever been.”
Ryder is a 30-year-old native of London who is the No. 1 contender for the WBA Super-Middleweight Title. Ryder has faced tough opposition, including a close fight against Rocky Fielding and a tough battle against Billy Joe Saunders. The “Gorilla” is coming off a seventh-round technical knockout win against previously undefeated Andrey Sirotkin in a WBA final eliminator, and he’ll look to retain his shot at the title with a win against Lemieux.
“I’m fully focused on the fight with David Lemieux but obviously there’s a massive pot of gold for the winner,” said John Ryder. “There’s the potential for a fight with Canelo or a fight with Callum Smith, which are both huge. Lemieux is a big puncher if you stand in front of him. I’m a boxer-fighter. I’ll box him at times and fight him at other times when it suits me. Our fighting styles are sure to gel for a great fight. I’m expecting to win and to win well. I’m there to keep my mandatory position.”
“We can’t wait for David to show that he can be a powerhouse in the super middleweight division. What better way to demonstrate this than by fighting the No. 1 contender in John Ryder!” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management.
“This is a great fight on an great night of boxing,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “John Ryder has been on a tremendous run and now takes to the big stage in Las Vegas with the dangerous David Lemieux. It’s a huge fight for both with the winner being mandatory challenger for Callum Smith and I fully expect that to be John Ryder.”
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