The holiday season could have been more upbeat for David Lemieux. The Canadian power puncher foresaw himself gaining a KO of the Year against Tureano Johnson underneath the Canelo Alvarez versus Rocky Fielding main event Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden — but fate had another plan.
The sugar plum fairies decided to do a dance all over his best laid plans.
Lemieux’ fight was scratched when he woke up Friday morning feeling off, and was taken to the hospital on advice of his coach, Marc Ramsay.
I spoke to the promoter/manager Camille Estephan, of Eye of the Tiger in Montreal, and he shared some details on the severity of Lemieux’s condition, and where the 40-4 hitter goes from here.
“David was having trouble hearing, and he couldn’t even see,” the deal-maker revealed. He’d gone to sleep Thursday night weighing 160.5, and typically, Estephan said, he will shed a half-pound overnight. The boxer was on track to make 160 for his fight with Johnson, a Bahamas native also signed to Golden Boy Promotions.
“It’s never easy for David (making 160), but we figured, he’d take off his underwear, make 160. I was in a business meeting, and I got a message from the coach, ‘I’m taking David to the hospital.’”
The 30-year-old Lemieux didn’t want to go, he wanted to see if he perked up, so he could weigh in and fight. But the trip to the hospital was the right call. Estephan said that diagnostics there showed a state of kidney failure.
“We need more tests to find out why,” he shared. By the second week of January, Team Lemieux expects to have that figured out with their doctors in Montreal.
“David was extremely disappointed,” Estephan continued. “He was very, very upset. He didn’t want to go to the hospital. He worked nine weeks, suffering, sparring, cutting to make weight. He didn’t get paid, there were major consequences. He was sure he was going to score KO of the Year.
“Now, I don’t think he realized how severe the situation was until he saw his own doctor, saw the report. He was close to needing dialysis. We need to know why did that happen? So is he suitable for fighting at 160? I don’t know. I do know we want Canelo, and why not at 168? We had the KO of the Year against Spike O’Sullivan and we came back from that Billy Joe Saunders fight. If David hits Canelo flush, he will put him to sleep!”
---Woods, a Brooklyn resident, was a staff writer at NY Newsday, before joining ESPN The Magazne (2003-2011). He edited TheSweetScience.com (2009-20015), and now publishes NYFights.com, and calls fights for Facebook Fightnight Live.