After being knocked down by David Benavidez in what was the last fight of his career last May, David Lemieux rose from the loss and decided to move on. He confirmed his retirement on Saturday in a statement sent by Eye of the Tiger Management.
The course that would have allowed him to find the biggest cards and a possible fight for the world championship seemed to him too long, too demanding for him to relaunch the adventure.
” I’ve been talking about it with my team for a while. We all gave ourselves in boxing, and I’m not disappointed with my decision. For my last fight, we said to ourselves: ”here we go, we go for it”. We knew he was a good opponent, a good fight against Benavidez, and that if you want to stay in boxing, you have to beat all the guys. There’s nothing I regret, I feel good, and it was time to move on. »
Some may have thought that it was training camps and repeated weight loss that could have motivated this decision. Wrong answer. David Lemieux allowed himself a little smirk when he received the question.
I do it every morning, I watch my weight, I train. I will train until I die. I’m not afraid of that. I have always pushed the limits of my body. I am from 0 to 100%, it is white or it is black, there is no gray zone.
Now the father of two children, David Lemieux wants to spend more time with his family and establish a calmer family life. It is also accompanied by his son Xander, only a few months old, that he took the time to explain his decision.
I’m healthy, I’m fine. I think right now, with my family, it’s time to move on. It is clear that I will stay in the middle. Boxing, I’ve been doing it since I was nine, I haven’t known anything else, and I’ll always stay close.
His 36 wins by knockout in 48 fights (43-5-0) place him among the greatest boxers in the country. The former Canadian junior champion has an impressive record, including an IBF middleweight title and major fights on boxing’s biggest stages.
In 2015, he won the IBF middleweight title by unanimous decision. Four months later, he lost in a unification bout to Gennady Golovkin in New York. Analysts did not fail to salute the courage shown by the Quebec boxer that evening.
Few of his compatriots can boast of having been able to perform in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden. These are the memories that the Montreal pugilist wishes to cherish.
kid qui vient de la rue Dudemaine, [à Montréal], qui fumait des cigares sur le balcon à huit, neuf ans, et qui remplit le Madison Square Garden… J’ai une philosophie : ‘’anything can be done, you just got to do it’’ [NDLR, tout peut être fait, il suffit de le faire]. C’est ma philosophie de vie, et ce sont les émotions et les grands moments qui vont me rester en tête.”,”text”:”Tsé, le petit kid qui vient de la rue Dudemaine, [à Montréal], qui fumait des cigares sur le balcon à huit, neuf ans, et qui remplit le Madison Square Garden… J’ai une philosophie : ‘’anything can be done, you just got to do it’’ [NDLR, tout peut être fait, il suffit de le faire]. C’est ma philosophie de vie, et ce sont les émotions et les grands moments qui vont me rester en tête.”}}”>Tse, the little one kid which comes from rue Dudemaine, [à Montréal]who smoked cigars on the balcony at eight, nine years old, and fills Madison Square Garden… I have a philosophy: ”anything can be done, you just got to do it” [NDLR, tout peut être fait, il suffit de le faire]. It’s my philosophy of life, and it’s the emotions and the great moments that will stick in my mind.
” I don’t think I reached everything I had to do at the maximum, but I gave the maximum of myself in all my fights, and I’m proud of it. I have always had the support of my fans, I always fought for them and fueled their emotions when I was in the ring, and out of the ring. I am proud to have felt his emotions. »
The death of his father, coldly shot on August 2 in the borough of Saint-Laurent, in Montreal, and the birth of his son, last May, keep him far from sporting considerations. It is during the next few weeks that he will be able to decant his 15 years spent in the professional ranks.
A harsh environment, but which offered him several beautiful moments, like this message of sympathy from Gary O’Sullivan which he received after the death of his father. The two boxers had however had trouble in the ring, in September 2018, in Las Vegas.
Far from fairy tales, David Lemieux has managed to tear himself away from a sometimes difficult environment. It is these experiences that the 33-year-old now wants to share with younger people who, like him at one time, are looking for alternative role models.
I am a good example for those who seek themselves in life. Whether it’s boxing or anything else in life, it’s about investing your time in the right place and paying attention to your surroundings and what life brings to you. Me, I was getting suspended from schools, I was always fighting, I was always in trouble. I hadn’t found the place I thought, ‘if I get kicked out of this, I’m going to regret it’, until I found boxing. You have to have people who give you good advice, who guide you so that you can make the right decisions.
” It was a difficult journey, but one that was positive. The path of the little bum nine years old who became a world champion, and the family man that I am today. For me, it was a luxury, a joy and I’m lucky to have had that. »
Brought to fight under the greatest reflectors of professional boxing, from Montreal to Las Vegas or New York, the Quebecer recalls that he could never have done it alone, and that important people, like his agent Camille Estephan and his trainer Marc Ramsay, allowed him to realize his wildest dreams.
Moreover, David Lemieux wishes to remain involved with them over the next few years, even the role remains to be defined.
It’s not a flame that goes out, it’s a new chapter that opens. I’m passionate about life, and I want to do the best I can with the opportunities that come my way. Boxing has been a door, but I have many more to open.