David Lemeux |  “Boxing brought me everything in life”

David Lemeux | “Boxing brought me everything in life”

“Yeah, I’ve done some nice little projects…” Across the screen, David Lemieux sends that smirk his fans have come to know over the last 15 years.

Posted at 12:29 pm

Jean-Francois Teotonio

Jean-Francois Teotonio
Press

This is how the boxer from Laval sums up his career in professional boxing, a few days after announcing his retirement.

“I did what I had to do in boxing, he explains during a virtual interview with Press, Monday in the morning. I gave good fights to the fans here in Quebec. I did my best. He has been a wrinkled the fun. »

Of these “beautiful projects”, there was a world championship won in front of his family, at the Bell Center. A sold-out Madison Square Garden. Dozens of knockouts and spectacular fights. Within a busy career (43 wins and 5 losses) that he now allows you to move calmly to the next stage of his life. Or to spend more time with family.

Although he agrees that there will probably be an adjustment period.

“It’s clear that when you’ve been doing this since you were nine years old, it’s a drastic change in your life,” he says. I am very happy and satisfied with the race I have had. You don’t want to get out of boxing too late. Or inappropriately. »

“I have a family to feed. I really don’t have time to waste. And the neurons, I have to preserve them. She formulates this last sentence, pointing to his skull, a smile on her face.

dead end


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

On May 21, Lemieux stepped into the ring against David Benavidez in Glendale, Arizona. A confrontation dominated by the American that only lasted 1 minute and 31 seconds.

David Lemieux and Jennifer Abel welcomed their first child from their union last May. Xander, the boxer’s third after Lilliana and Leon, was born a few days before the last fight of his career.

On May 21, Lemieux stepped into the ring against David Benavidez in Glendale, Arizona. A confrontation dominated by the American that lasted only two and a half rounds.

The 33-year-old fighter believes that this loss is not the reason for him to retire today. He even assures that “tomorrow he would fight him, if the contract was there”, displaying the daring that characterized his career.

But nonetheless, it was part of the general finding of a certain impasse.

It’s that David Lemieux has always struggled to make the 160-pound weight at middleweight where he spent most of his career. And at 168 pounds, he couldn’t compete with the best in the division. Like Benavidez, precisely.

“Weight was a problem,” he says. I struggled to make 160. I ended up in the hospital. With this problem, we ask ourselves: “OK, what is the next step for David Lemieux in this area?” I sat down with my team and they said, “Hey, you’re not really a 168, but if you want, we can try.” »

“We gave ourselves the biggest challenge there was in 168. Benavidez. […] If it works, great. »

But it does not work. And he explains that at this point in his career it was no longer worth fighting again.

“Actually, if you’re not making a lot of money in boxing, you’re not making any money, period. »

In this sense, Lemieux has nothing to worry about. His career was skillfully managed by promoter Camille Estephan. And his fight against Gennady Golovkin at MSG in 2015 assured him a future without financial worries.

“We always want what we don’t have”


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

David Lemieux has always struggled to make it to 160-pound middleweight, where he has spent most of his career. And at 168 pounds, he couldn’t compete with the best in the division.

No more difficult weighing. Goodbye, hard training camps. Is David Lemieux happy to put all that behind him? It illustrates his answer very well.

“Let’s say you go to Cuba and you’re on the beach. And you say, “Wow! I would love to live here.” It’s sunny every day. But when you live there, you might think a little snowstorm would be nice. We always want what we don’t have. »

Regardless, your “discipline” will remain.

“I get on the scale in the morning, every time I wake up. And I say to myself, damn… I have to go for a run. »

He laughs and then goes on to say that “he’s not bored with anything.”

“Boxing has given me everything in life. The person I am today. The discipline I have. The example I will be for my children and my family. »

“When I got into boxing, it was instant love. I was the first in the gym. And the last to leave. »

“I think about it all day”

The last few weeks have been “turbulent” for David Lemieux. Before announcing his retirement, his father was one of the three victims of the triple murder that shook the Montreal region.

“Sometimes everything is perfectly fine, and then boom. »

” But it’s life. We stay focused. I have children, a family to take care of. I have to give my best and manage everything as best I can. »

Through the drama, he has to “do the arrangements and paperwork”, which is “still quite time consuming”.

Lemieux was not particularly close to his father. “But it sure hurts,” he said.

“He did not die of natural causes. He was shot. They killed him. […] He is still my dad. Without him, I wouldn’t be here. He does something to me. I think about it all day. »

your greatest memory


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

“Boxing has given me everything in life. The person I am today. The discipline I have. The example I will be for my children and my family. »

What memory will you cherish most now that your career is over, David?

“I had several memorable fights. There is one that was really the icing on the cake. And I didn’t even have the victory in this fight. But filling the MSG, exchanging blows with Golovkin, it was good fun. »

He also talks about his world championship fight against Hassan N’Dam, at the Bell Centre. Lemieux knocked him down four times that night.

“I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a machine. I hit him really hard. He got up every time. We have a lot of padding on the gloves. And I punched him once and felt my knuckles digging into his face. It was one of the falls with my left hook. I said to myself: There’s no way he’s going to get up after that. I turned my back on him, walked to the neutral corner, turn around… he’s already up. I was like: That’s not human. There’s something wrong with him. He was a phenomenal athlete.”

a healthy meeting


PHOTO IVANOH DEMERS, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

David Lemieux and Camille Estephan

David Lemieux talks about Camille Estephan even before we ask about him. It is his encounter with the promoter, more than any other, that he will continue to treasure most.

“The person I am most proud to have met, the one I learned the most from, was Camille Estephan. She will remain a friend even after my boxing career. […] He is a good mentor. »

“I haven’t paid Camille Estephan a dime since the beginning of my career. Usually a promoter takes like 20%, or a big percentage. […] He always helped me build and acquire everything I wanted. »

“As in many areas, there is a lot of dirt in boxing. And in all areas there are also beautiful people. People who want to stand out. People like Camille Estephan. »


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