By David A. Avila
Former world champion David Lemieux of Canada and Glen Tapia talked about their upcoming middleweight clash on the Cinco de Mayo weekend match in Las Vegas and other weighty things on Tuesday.
Lemieux made “no excuses” about not making weight for a recent bout and Tapia mentioned that losing too much weight might have caused a loss in his last fight a year ago.
If all goes well Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) and Tapia (23-2, 15 KOs) will met at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 7. It will be one of the HBO pay-per-view bouts staged by Golden Boy Promotions. The main event is WBC middleweight titlist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez versus Amir “King” Khan.
Tapia trains in Hollywood, Calif. at the Wild Card with Freddie Roach. The New Jersey prizefighter mentioned that Roach had previously advised that moving up in weight might be a wise move.
“I was killing myself. Freddie Roach was telling me before he said I should move up to 160,” said Tapia about venturing into middleweight territory. “He said the way I was looking in the gym, he said I was losing it when I was going down in weight. I feel so happy now that I can eat.”
Lemieux made no specific excuses but hired a nutritionist for this fight to guarantee that weight would not be a deterrent.
“There are no excuses and people don’t care about excuses. I’m going to be stronger and better than ever,” said Lemieux whose last fight was a loss to Gennady Golovkin last October. “It’s not a problem with me to make 160.”
Fight-wise the Canadian was insightful about his matchup against the New Jersey fighter and how losing doesn’t mean a thing for him or Tapia.
“He’s a big boy. He’s going to be much more comfortable at 160. I don’t qualify a fighter by looking it at those terms (losses),” said Lemieux.
Tapia expects a very tough fight but welcomes it as a measure of substantiation of his own skills.
“He’s a better fighter than me on paper. It’s a great challenge,” said Tapia. “I can’t wait to show my potential and abilities and make some noise. I am a force to be reckoned with.”
South El Monte’s Jojo Diaz (20-0, 11 KOs) retained the NABF featherweight title after defeating Puerto Rico’s Jayson Velez (23-2-1) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds. Their fight took place at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Saturday, March 26. Also, Rancho Cucamonga’s Daniel “Twitch” Franco (13-0-3, 8 KOs) stopped Mexico’s German Meraz (52-38-1) at 1:13 of the eighth and final round of their featherweight bout. He’s the younger brother of former featherweight contender Michael Franco.
Featherweight standout Manuel Avila (19-0, 8 KOs) faces Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado (23-6) in the main event on Friday,April 1, at Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The Golden Boy Promotions card also features Compton’s Edgar Valerio (5-0), a highly touted featherweight, against Mexico’s Javier Rodriguez (3-1). Both Avila and Valerio are very tall featherweights and both pack knockout power. For tickets and information call (213) 233-2946. The fights can be seen on Estrella TV and www.RingTvLive.com
Francisco Santana (23-4-1) faces Ed Paredes (36-5-1) in a battle of welterweight veterans on Saturday, April 2, at Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme. The Top Rank card also features Santa Ana’s Luis Ramos (25-2) meeting Cristobal Cruz (40-19-4) in a lightweight matchup set for 10 rounds. The fights will be televised on UniMas.