David Lemieux will make his return from facing the world’s best middleweight when the Canadian puncher battles James De la Rosa on March 12 back in Montreal.
The 27 year-old lost for only the third time in his career when stopped in eight rounds by hard-hitting Kazakh Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden and now heads home to the comfort of the Olympia Theatre.
Lemieux held the IBF title at 160 pounds for just four months until running into the ‘GGG’ juggernaut and will be aiming to put himself right back in the mix to challenge the likes of WBO and WBA champions Billy Joe Saunders and Danny Jacobs in the future.
Opponent De la Rosa, 28, has also lost three times as a pro, most recently in his latest bout over twelve months ago against undefeated Hugo Centeno Jr. Prior to that, defeats to Marcus Willis and Allen Conyers had placed the Mexican-born Texan in the fringe contender category and De la Rosa will be looking to break out of that mould against world-rated Lemieux.
De la Rosa does hold a credible win over Alfredo Angulo from September 2014, but failed to follow it up against Centeno and has to avoid losing two fights in a row for the first time in his career, in order to stay on track for a world title shot.