The Wrong Confidence Builder

By Ted Sares on January 29, 2012
The Wrong Confidence Builder
One of David's problems has been that he had taken out many of his opponents too early

“All of this is all confidence…I know Lemieux is a good fighter, he can hit. But the fact that I got hit with him, and I didn’t really feel his punch, it just [brought] more confidence.”—Joachim Alcine

“For Lemieux, he needs to prove he made a good move to change trainers…He has to prove what happened against Rubio was just an accident in his career and that he has grown and learned from that. He will definitely want to show it against Alcine.”—Promoter Yvon Michel

“We just don’t see eye to eye on the way he should be preparing for fights. Instead of him being miserable in the gym, and for my mental sanity, it’s better to go separate ways than butt heads. Marc has my blessing. He trains his fighters in my gym. So this split with David is not a hateful split or about money. It’s just we are on a different philosophical plane on what it takes to succeed in the elite world of boxing”—Russ Anber

When David Lemieux lost badly to Marco Antonio Rubio in April 2011, the Montreal boxing community went into shock. Then, when Montreal training legend and all-around boxing personality Russ Anber later released himself from David, though the classy Anber did it in a most amicable fashion, the shock heightened considerably. After all, Russ, who is now in the corner of Sergio Martinez among others, had been with the heavy handed fighter for 13 years.

When Lemieux (25-1) faced 35-year-old Joachim Alcine (33-2-1) on Dec. 10 before a packed house at the Bell Centre, many thought David would take him out early. Alcine was coming off a draw against limited Jose Medina (14-9) and was badly mauled by Alfredo “El Perro “Angulo in 2010.

It was billed as the quintessential confidence builder and it turned out to be just that—except the one whose confidence was restored was Alcine. He won a majority decision with the only question being why one card was scored even. Lemieux is a heavy hitter, but the judges obviously saw the stamina-challenged Lemieux as too one-dimensional.

“I wanted to bring him into deep waters,” said Alcine. “I knew that after four or five rounds, he was going to get lost.”

David needs to take to heart the sage advice Anber once gave him and which may well have contributed to their divorce to wit: You cannot always be a “lights out-type fighter.” In fact one of his problems has been that he had taken out many of his opponents too early thus giving him a false sense of confidence; his one round blowout of teak tough Elvin Ayala in 2010 being a case in point. At any rate, what was supposed to be an “easy” fight for Lemieux turned out to be a massive step in the wrong direction as Alcine regained his confidence by holding off the youngster’s early charge and then dictating the pace in a furious and entertaining battle with Alcine fighting like the champion he once was.

Still, it would be foolhardy to write the young Lemieux off just yet, but he must rededicate himself and put in the required work.

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  1. mikes schmidt 10:41am, 01/30/2012

    Way to early to tell what is in store for this young man. I know talking to friend and Champ Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool, that “The Whip” told me that Rubio was a very very big strong guy for his weight and hit him harder than anybody harder than anybody had hit him. I think if everybody concentrates on the positive side (you have a guy that is what, 23 years old and 25-2, and still learning-who would not die to have that in their stable of fighters in a heartbeat. I am not entirely convinced, having watched the last fight, that David lost this last one- it was close and he did the rounds in fine fashion. As always, and you’re old school Thresh so I know you probably think the same- way too much emphasis put on the loss of the zero. We need look no further than how our Mexican friends approach the development of their fighters- Orlando Salido, current WBO Feather Champ case in point-37 wins 11 losses. If David finds the sport of boxing rewarding and exciting, as a young man with great tools and still learning, he will come back with a vengeance I suspect. Whatever steps Russ took were and are in the interest, clearly, of moving the fighter forward.

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 10:04am, 01/30/2012

    ” Some of these guys try harder against me.” I may not be quoting Greg Haugen exactly, but he did say something very close to that in a ringside interview years ago. I knew what he meant as I’m sure many others who follow this sport do as well. Alcine was set to “try harder” against David well before the opening bell…it was the main reason Alcine “really didn’t feel his punches.” All the more reason to have Anber in his corner on those nights when his opponents don’t feel his punches.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 09:40am, 01/30/2012

    Memo to David: (1) Review Rubio tape and note how Russ Anber saved you from unecessary damage. (2) Contact Anber without delay and inform him you’re ready to do it his way. (3) Then do it his way.

  4. TEX HASSLER 09:31am, 01/30/2012

    David was put in with Marco Rubio before he was ready for that level of fighter. Rubio was a far better fighter is why David lost. Early KO’s may look good on paper but they sometimes fail to give a fighter the time to build boxing skills. David can punch but he needs some skill and defense to go with his punching power.

  5. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:06am, 01/30/2012

    Great read! I remember Darroll Wilson inviting Shannon Briggs to empty his tank early. Although Briggs seemd to learn something from that bout, he, like Lemieux seemed to be plagued by the possibility of drowning in deep water. I don’t know if this is fixable by Lemieux—some things that can be technically fixed can’t be mentally fixed.

  6. sthomas 05:55am, 01/30/2012

    About a year ago I thought he was a pretty complete fighter with a champonship future.  Adversity has shown he’s got a long way to go.  I have my doubts

  7. jofre 08:40pm, 01/29/2012

    I agree. Lemieux is talented, but the early stoppages have hurt his development. The late Mike Pusateri told me years ago that his run of 17 straight KOs hurt his development. If David doesn’t lose his confidence and realizes he needs to develop further he’ll be ok. If, however, he has hit his peak at an early age he’ll be a hot and cold fighter that eventually fizzles out.

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