Quotes from the Benavidez vs Lemieux press conference on May 21
Undefeated two-time world champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavídez and former world champion David Lemieux previewed their 12-round showdown for the vacant WBC interim super middleweight title, the two knockout artists anticipating fireworks during a virtual press conference Tuesday before headlining live on SHOWTIME Saturday, May 21 from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. It’s headlined by Benavídez returning to fight in his home state of Arizona for the second consecutive outing after earning a knockout victory over Kyrone Davis in November 2021 on SHOWTIME. He will face a hard-hitting former champion in Lemieux, making May 21 a matchup of power punchers, as the two fighters have combined for 58 knockouts in their 68 wins (85% knockout rate).
Tickets for the live event, which Sampson Boxing and TGB Promotions are promoting, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com at the link HERE.
Here’s what the fighters had to say on Tuesday:
“I’m very excited to get into this fight against Lemieux because he’s a guy I’ve watched for a long time and I like his style. We both have similar modes because we aim for the knockout. This excites me a lot and motivates me a lot.
“We are also fighting for the interim title, which makes the scene even bigger. I trained hard at camp for about three months, preparing for this fight. I’m just happy to go home and win this title.
“If you win the interim title, the next fight has to be for the title. I don’t think it should be any different in this case. If Canelo Alvarez wants to fight at light heavyweight, he will have to quit. It’s only justice.
“I train hard to make sure I get the knockout. I feel like I’m at my peak right now. I have a lot of skills, power and a lot of experience. I know it won’t be easy, but I did everything right in the gym.
“I see flaws in David’s game, and I’m sure he sees flaws in me. I know he wants to stop me, and I want to stop him. 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 the type of fighters we are. We’re two bulls going out there to see who has the most heart.
“I want everyone to see that I am the best in this weight class. I only watch the fight in front of me. I have to win this fight before I can win anything else. But I feel like everyone knows where I stand in this division. I called the best and I respect Lemieux for agreeing to fight.
“I wanted to fight again in Arizona because we had a big event in November. This is my first title fight at home, and it’s a dream come true for me. Everything fell into place for me. I had a fantastic camp and I am preparing for a great opponent. This has all the ingredients for a great fight. The energy is good. It’s one of the biggest fights, and that’s how seriously I take it.
“We’ve been at camp for a long time and we’ve fed each other’s energy. We are all like brothers and we all push each other. I worked hard and walked miles. Seeing Jose Valenzuela and Diego Pacheco achieve great victories gives me even more power.
“My main goal is to become the unified champion at 168 pounds. It’s not just about me. I have a lot of fans who support me, and I do it for them. They helped me so much, so I want them to know that I put 110% into training camp every time they come to a fight.
“I feel like I deserve the biggest fights. I paid my dues and I’ve been here a long time. But I have a lot of fuel in the gym just because of the magnitude of this fight. I think the other top guys are making a mistake not giving me the fight now because the longer I’m in the ring the more I learn. He’ll turn around and bite them when it’s time to get in the ring with me. Everything will go through the roof.
“I expect a great fight. Two bulls go in there, and may the best man win that title. David Benavídez is a very tough fighter. We’ve been watching him for a while. He is always inspiring. His fighting style – he comes to fight – there’s no problem with him. It’s also my style. We want this WBC belt around my waist, and I plan to have it on fight night.
“I know it’s a brutal fight. I train very hard and do everything I need to do inside the gym. I don’t want to lose this opportunity. I know Benavídez is a great fighter. I will work very hard and give the best of David Lemieux. I leave with the WBC title on fight night.
“I believe my power will translate to 168 pounds. I’ve worked hard to fit into the 168-pound division, and I think my passion will peak on fight night. Benavídez is a big guy. We know that. But we are preparing and we have the right training partners. I’m going to go out there and be very strong. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an opponent like Benavídez, but I’m excited. I’m happy with this fight. I know what a win will bring to my career and I won’t miss it.
“I don’t look past this fight. I’m just focusing on Benavidez. It’s a big fight that awaits me. Canelo picks a lot of his fights, but there are rules in boxing that you have to follow. The winner of the interim belt must fight the champion if he follows the rules, and the rules are the rules. That’s it.
“It’s a big task ahead of me. When I sat down with my team and Benavídez’s name came up, we knew it was a tough fight. He’s a tough fighter and a big guy, but we’re gearing up and preparing for him. Everything is in preparation. Styles make fights. I have the technique to hurt Benavídez, and I’m training hard to beat this guy.
“Anything can be done, and you have to go out and do it. David Benavídez is a perfect fighter, but everyone is beatable. No one is invincible. This is what we have to prove. There is no cheating in boxing. You train hard for a fight. You don’t underestimate your opponent and surprises can happen. I plan to bring this title back to Montreal.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s now or never in every fight in the boxing ring. You don’t have much chance of leaving a good mark in the game, so every battle should be taken seriously, especially a fight of this magnitude. There’s a lot at stake for me. I know I’m the underdog, but I don’t care. I’m just going in there to fight, underdog or not. I’ve been the underdog in the past, and I’ve won the fights. I don’t mind.
“The eight books make all the difference. One hundred and sixty pounds was hard to come by, especially towards the end. I feel like a great workout at 168. I’m very comfortable doing that weight. I train very hard, build strength and muscle, and don’t care about losing weight. I feel good.
“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.