Boxing: David Benavidez and David Lemieux: “People pay to see a knockout and they’re going to see it”

Unbeaten two-time world champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavdez and former world champion David Lemieux went face-to-face at the final press conference Thursday as they previewed their 12-round showdown for the vacant Interim WBC Super Middleweight Title which headlines live on Showtime this Saturday, May 21 from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The 25-year-old Benavdez has twice captured super middleweight gold throughout his career, including becoming the youngest super middleweight champion in boxing history by defeating Ronald Gavril in 2017 at just 20 years old. Now he will look to move closer to a third world title against Montreal’s Lemieux, a former middleweight champion who’s won three-straight bouts since moving to 168 pounds full time in late 2019.

David Benavidez: “I really want to go in there and earn this title”

“I’ve had a tremendous training camp and everything has been perfect. The miles have been run, the rounds have been sparred and the weight has been lost already. I came in extremely prepared for this fight. We both have a lot of knockouts, so I’m just looking forward to giving the fans a war.

“I really want to go in there and earn this title. I have a lot of respect for Lemieux and I’ve been watching him since I was young, but he has a lot to worry about with me. I’m faster and stronger, but he’s got the experience, so this is going to be a great fight.

“I can guarantee a hell of a fight, a war, and that somebody is getting knocked out. Neither of us wants to go to a decision. The people are paying good money to see a knockout, and that’s what they’re going to get. I’m leaving with the title on Saturday night.

“I want the big names. I feel like I’ve earned it. I’ve been champion twice and now I’m fighting for another belt. I’ve been wanting to fight the other big fighters, but they haven’t accepted the challenge.

David Lemieux: “I don’t run away from anybody”

“When you want to become the world champion, you have to beat the best guy out there. Right now, Benavdez stands in front of me. That’s who I have to beat to be the world champion. Everybody knows that Benavdez is a very good fighter, but I think people are going to see that I’m a serious contender in the super middleweight division when I get that belt around me.

“It’s a big challenge, but I’m confident. I had a tremendous training camp for this fight. We’re ready physically and mentally. Benavdez is a good fighter. It’s going to be a hell of a show for the fight fans because he doesn’t like to do rounds and I don’t like to do rounds. We’ll see what happens.

“I don’t run away from anybody. I’ve never avoided any fight or any fighter. When I step in the ring, I’m the man to worry about. In this fight, there’s a solid guy in front of me, but I’m confident in my abilities and my strength and my power. We had a tremendous training camp to prepare specifically for Benavdez. I’m very confident in this approach. I have a lot of experience in the ring and I’m going to bring it on Saturday night.