There have been some good Canadian boxers over the years, but not really any great ones. And the ones who are close to the elite level are basically transplanted there from other countries around the world. For example, Jean Pascal is from Haiti, while both Lucien Bute and Adrian Diaconu hail from Romania. But it’s always been that way really. The Vanderpool brothers, Syd and Fitz, were born in Trinidad and Tobago; Troy Ross is from Guyana, while Razor Ruddock and Trevor Berbick were Jamaican. There are some exceptions though, with Steve Molitor and Arturo Gatti being born in Canada.
Boxing’s not really a sport that many natives take up as they’ve got their choice of ice hockey, soccer, and baseball etc. It could be argued that Lennox Lewis, who won a gold medal for Canada at the Olympics and became one of the best heavyweights in history, was Canadian. But he wasn’t. He may have lived and boxed there, but was born and bred in England.
Give the Canadians A for effort. However, when it comes to passing grades when taking on the world’s top boxers they usually fail. David Lemieux is another Canadian who recently flunked his test when he took on Mexico’s Marco Antonio Rubio at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada on April 8.
The undefeated 22-year-old middleweight entered the ring with a fantastic record on paper with 25 straight wins and 24 of them by knockout. His opposition was basically of the B and C level variety though with Hector Camacho Jr. and Jason Naugler being the only recognizable names on his list of opponents. The 30-year-old Rubio (50-5-1, 43 Kos), on the other hand, has fought the likes of Rigoberto Alvarez, Kelly Pavlik, Enrique Ornelas, Kassim Ouma, Frankie Randall, Kofi Jantuah, and Jorge Vaca.
Rubio’s experience shone through at the Bell Centre as he was patient throughout the first five rounds before starting to go on the attack. The Montreal native started well and unleashed some heavy shots in the early rounds, but Rubio blocked many of them with some excellent defense.
Granted, Lemieux won the first four rounds, but Rubio started to methodically take him apart after that. The Mexican nailed Lemieux with a right hand in the sixth round and that was the beginning of the end for the Canadian. In the seventh, Rubio caught Lemieux with a right hand that seemed to connect just behind the ear. Lemieux lost his equilibrium and hit the deck. Rubio then continued with an all-out assault after his opponent got back to his feet after the count of eight.
In somewhat of a surprising move, Lemieux’s trainer Russ Anber then climbed up to the ring corner and through in the towel. The official time of the fight was 2:36 of the seventh round. The fight was a WBC elimination bout and Rubio is now first in line to take on the winner of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs Sebastian Zbik fight which takes place on June 4. Lemieux will have to go back to the drawing board like most Canadian boxers do.