Canelo vs GGG 2 undercard: Lemieux vs O'Sullivan Must-See TV
Pay-per-view superfight undercards remain one of boxing's biggest problems.
Promoters realize over 90 percent of the viewing audience is focused on the main event so they usually go cheap on the undercard. And in the end, no one cares what happens in those fights as a result.
Moreover, when the main event underperforms, fans are likely to feel duped because the undercard bouts, even if hotly contested, lacked drama, intrigue or fighters of merit.
(Image courtesy of Irish-Boxing.com.)
.... That won't be the case September 15 when Gennady Golovkin faces Canelo Alvarez in their super fight rematch.
Yes, the Canelo vs GGG 2 undercard will offer something different.
Young, red-hot WBO light middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KO) will step in the ring with veteran Brandon Cook (20-1, 13 KO). Munguia, of course, is fresh off wins over Sadam Ali and Liam Smith.
... But there's another bout on the Canelo vs GGG 2 undercard that will have fans salivating — David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KO) vs Gary O'Sullivan (28-2, 20 KO).
Between them, Lemieux and O'Sullivan are 67-6, 53 KO.
No, they're not Floyd and Manny but Lemieux and O'Sullivan are two, hungry, tough, knockout-minded top 10 middleweights (arguably).
And the bout will certainly have some impact on the landscape of the division.
In fact, don't be surprised if we eventually see Golovkin vs O'Sullivan and/or Canelo vs Lemieux sometime in the future. O'Sullivan was seen as the most likely Golovkin opponent for May after Canelo was forced to step aside due to his suspension for PEDs. Team Golovkin, of course, had to settle for Vanes Martirosyan after O'Sullivan declined, insisting he wouldn't have had adequate time to get ready.
The rugged puncher from Ireland was showcased is coming off of an impressive KO performance over once highly touted American prospect Antoine Douglas (then 22-1) in December and a TKO win over Berlin Abreu (then 14-1) last May.
"Taking into careful consideration the face first, orthodox fight style that O'Sullivan seems to favor, coupled with the fact that he carries a solid beard with little or no regard for defense into the ring, the ten-year professional should be a perfect stylistic fit for not only the current Middleweight champion (Gennady Golovkin) but the mainstream sports fan who wants to see plenty of action for their PPV dollar as well," stated boxing writer Joseph Herron last April when we thought GGG vs O'Sullivan would be announced.
"Triple G vs O’Sullivan should be a very entertaining scrap for at least seven or eight rounds. The 33-year-old veteran has stopped four of his last five opponents, and has looked much improved since 2016, " he added.
But back to Lemieux vs O'Sulliivan...
While O'Sullivan is on a 6-fight win streak, David Lemieux, the consummate KO artist, is coming off of an unflattering May 2018 decision win over lightly-regarded Karim Ac hour (then 26-4-3) and a disappointing, wide unanimous decision loss to current WBO Champ Billy Joe Saunders (25-0) in December.
But make no mistake, one clean shot from Lemieux can end matters against any middleweight. There's a reason Golovkin was content to work his jab instead of attempt to streamroll David in the stanzas of their 2015 bout. GGG showed Lemieux a lot of respect - and for good reason. Lemieux is a former middleweight title-holder whose power and durability make him a legitimate threat to anyone from 154 to 168 pounds.
Some forget the entertaining brawler was Team Canelo's fall-back option had negotiations for Canelo vs GGG 1 (Sept 2017) been unsuccessful.
“Well, after what I do May 6th, I’m gonna put myself in a position where everybody’s gonna wanna see Canelo-Lemieux,” David said during a conference call earlier April 2017.
“I’m not asking for the position. I’m gonna put myself in the position. So what I do with Marco Reyes will put me where I wanna be, to be fighting against Canelo. But first I’ll take care of Reyes, who’s a good fighter.”
A hardcore fan favorite since 2011, his Canelo vs GGG 2 undercard bout with O'Sullivan may serve as a make-or-break situation for the Canadian.
“Lemieux-O’Sullivan is a great fight, a lot of action, but it’s a very important fight for David Lemieux,” De La Hoya told Yahoo Sports. “It’s kind of make-or-break for him. He needs this one.”
In response, Lemieux told BoxingScene.com:
“They expect a lot from me and it’s all good.... It’s going to be a beautiful victory. I’m in great shape. I’m coming down for business. I’m coming down for big names."
"The first big name is going to be Gary O’Sullivan, and then we’re going to head up to some who are the real deal."
Lemieux vs O'Sullivan... Trust me, you won't want to miss it if you want to see two, all-action, world class fighters throw down.