By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
If not the cycle of life, it is certainly the cycle of boxing. One star shines increasingly brighter while another fades further and further into the background, flickering and showing glimpses of hope, but becoming increasingly harder to see. New stars are given rise off the names that came before them. Sometimes the neophytes bite off more than can chew, but if the cards are dealt correctly, hunger will win out over experience. That’s what David Lemieux (25-1 24KO) and his GYM promoters are hoping as the young middleweight hopeful hopes to bounce back from his only career loss as he takes on former world champion Joachim Alcine (32-2-1 19KO) and fellow Laval, Quebec resident Joachim Alcine December 10th at the Bell Centre.
It was a mere seven years ago when Alcine was faced with a similar challenge as he made his first Bell Centre headline appearance in going against Quebec favourite at the time, Stephane Ouellet. “The Poet” had finally gotten past his nemesis Davey Hilton in the third of three tries and when it was the conquered and not the conqueror who got the shot at then world champ Dingaan Thobela, Ouellet went off the rails, split with his promoter and ended up in Vegas where he lost in two rounds to Omar Shieka.
While the parallels are there, promoter Yvon Michel doesn’t believe Alcine’s return who was his first world champion after leaving Interboxe, is similar to bringing Ouellet back one last time.
“I don’t see it,” said the promoter. “Joachim Alcine doesn’t have alcohol problems, doesn’t have drug problems. At one point he just got beat against good guys. Santos was good in his world championship fight and with Angulo we’re looking at a force in boxing. When Stephane Ouelett came back, everybody who was close to him knew how weak he was because of his life style. It was just a show to sell and to drive off of Ouellet’s popularity. It was impossible that he had a chance, somebody asked me at the time and I said the fight would end when Alcine wants it to…and it took less than a minute. There is nothing to compare except we’re talking about a former star and a new up-and-comer.”
It was Otis Grant who got the ear of Alcine that night. The former champion who was working the corner alongside his brother and chief trainer Howard Grant grabbed the fighter during the introductions and took the blinders off his fighter and let him loose. Alcine was told not to waste any time and get him out of there if he had the opportunity. Alcine more than obliged, obliterating his opponent and stunning the crowd in to a silence not often heard around a boxing ring. It would be the last time that the former #1 ranked fighter would ever fight.
Like Ouellet, things have not gone well for Alcine since leaving his original Montreal promoter and trainer. “We signed a new contract after the loss with Santos,” said Michel about what led to split with Alcine. “We gave him two fights, one with (Eric) Mitchell and one with (Christophe) Canclaux and we got him back into the top five in the world in all associations and put him in a good position. Suddenly I got a call from Don King saying that Joachim Alcine had signed a contract with him, we had a choice of fighting that or letting him go.
“King wanted him to fight against Angulo right away and we believed it was not the right move to do so King paid us a percentage of his revenue from his promoter fee. We eventually decided to let him go and when he was knocked out, King also let him go. After that we really didn’t have any contact with him until he signed with Lou DiBella and last summer. Lou called me and said they were interested in fighting with David Lemieux. Of course he was interested because Lemieux had just lost against Rubio and he perceived a good opportunity to come in and try to get a win against an up-and-coming star and re-establish himself.”
It took over a year to get back into the ring following his loss to Santos and after getting rid of Howard Grant and bringing in new management, Alcine put forth a couple of wins before being blown out by Angulo in July 2010. Another year of inactivity would follow until this past August where he was held to a draw with 14-9 Jose Madina
“I’m sure Alcine will be more than ready,” said Michel, “He was his back on the wall now and has to give it all. It is also a good opportunity to show that last time versus Rubio was just an accident. David wanted to have a significant fight in his comeback. I believe Alcine is more dangerous than Marco Antonio Rubio, better style, more speed. Before we fought Rubio, everybody was telling us that Rubio had no chin. He was knocked out in one round against Kofi Jantuah and was knocked out against Kelly Pavlik but he came with the right strategy and David was not prepared as he should have been and we know the result. It’s a good opportunity to show for David that last time was just an accident.”
Lemieux himself is also eager to show that last time out against Rubio is now behind him. “I’m very motivated and I’m starving to get back in the ring. December 10th I’m going to be ready to get back into the ring and show I’m ready. No prediction, but a win is guaranteed. I think this guy can be dangerous and you have to expect the worst when you step inside the ring, I’ve got to beat him at what he’s best at and he’s probably going to play it like Rubio so I’m going to have to be prepared to go the distance.”