Once-beaten middleweight prospect David Lemieux will face 35-year-old former WBA junior middleweight titleholder Joachim Alcine in a clash of Canadian middleweights on Dec. 10 at Bell Centre in Montreal without his longtime trainer, Russ Anber, Lemieux’s promoter, Yvon Michel, informed RingTV.com.
“That is confirmed that they are no longer together. Russ had a press conference, and I believe that David has announced the situation on his website. They left on good terms. Russ said that his philosophy of how to bring David along was not matching with David’s goal or David’s philosophy,” said Michel of the 22-year-old Lemieux (25-1, 24 KOs), who has signed a contract with Eye of the Tiger Management.
“Russ had a family approach with David. He had been with David since he was 12 years old. They will stay friends. Russ said that his door is always open if David needs some counseling or some help, and that he will always be available.”
Michel said Anber will be replaced by Mark Ramsey, who has worked with Lemieux’s promotional stablemate Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs), a former RING/WBC light heavyweight champ. Lemieux often spars with Pascal.
“I believe (Ramsey) is one of the best friends of Russ Anber. Russ feels comfortable that David is in good hands with Mark Ramsey,” said Michel.
“I can’t say who was right or wrong, it just came to a point where they had difficulty separating their personal things and the business side. So for the benefit of everyone, they have decided that the two of them will move on along different paths.”
Lemieux is trying to bounce back from April’s shocking seventh-round stoppage loss to hard-hitting Marco Antonio Rubio (51-5-1, 44 KOs). Rubio-Lemieux was a WBC eliminator matchup that was contested before Lemieux’s partisan fans at the Bell Centre.
Lemieux had gone 5-0 in 2010, but the loss to Rubio ended his run of four straight stoppage wins.
In preparation for a comeback fight, Lemieux spent some time in August training alongside Sergio Martinez in Oxnard, Calif., as Martinez began the early stages of preparation for his 11th-round knockout of previously unbeaten Darren Barker on Oct. 1.
At the time, Michel said things in the Lemieux camp were still status quo.
“That was just a little bit of a step backward, but David’s manager, Russ Anber, wants to make sure that all aspects are covered. We want to make sure that everybody is aiming in the same direction,” said Michel at the time.
“So the training with Martinez was very good for him, and then we’re looking for David to make a comeback. I want to wait and get the green light from his manager, because the intent is that once we launch his comeback, he’s going to be a nonstop until he becomes the world champion.”
Alcine (32-2-1, 19 KOs) is coming off a draw with Jose Medina in August, and, prior to that, was knocked out in the first round by Alfredo Angulo in July.
Alcine became WBA titleholder by winning a clash of unbeaten fighters by decision over Tarvis Simms in July of 2007, and defended that belt once before being dethroned via sixth-round knockout against Daniel Santos July of 2008.
In Canada, Lemieux’s popularity had reached the point where it began to rival that of 31-year-old countryman Lucian Bute (29-0, 26 KOs), the IBF super middleweight titleholder.
During his previous triumph at Bell Centre, Lemieux earned a second-round knockout over Purnell Gates, who was on a 15-fight winning streak, in December of last year.
In victory over Rubio, Lemieux was to have been in line for a title shot opposite 25-year-old Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KOs), who dethroned Germany’s Sebastian Zbik (30-1, 10 KOs) as WBC beltholder in June.
Rubio has now scored five consecutive knockouts and eight overall among nine consecutive wins, having positioned himself for a shot at Chavez along with Martinez.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org