Middleweight contenders David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens, both big punchers with fan-friendly styles and Gennady Golovkin knockout victims, will square off March 11 in a fight that figures to put the winner on the path to another world title opportunity, Golden Boy Promotions announced Monday.
Lemieux and Stevens, who have been calling each other out for months, will meet in a scheduled 12-round fight that will headline HBO's "Boxing After Dark" (11 p.m. ET/PT) at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
"We often see fighters pretend not to like each other to help draw an audience. These two guys aren't faking it. They don't like each other at all," said Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya, Lemieux's co-promoter. "Given the thunder each holds in both hands and their desire to make a statement in the middleweight division, I think fans are going to be in for a knockout -- and a spectacular one at that."
Lemieux (36-3, 32 KOs), a former world titleholder, lost his 160-pound belt to Golovkin by one-sided eighth-round knockout in their October 2015 unification fight. Lemieux, 28, of Montreal, has won both of his fights since.
"The time for talking is done, and after many long months of hearing Curtis yell about all the things he's going to do in the ring, I'm really looking forward to shutting his mouth on March 11," Lemieux said. "I've told everyone my goal is to once again become middleweight champion of the world. Curtis is in the way, and I'm going to go right through him."
Said Eye of the Tiger Management's Camille Estephan, Lemieux's co-promoter: "We feel that 2017 is David's year to take over through all the experiences he got in the last little while. He improved by leaps and bounds. We want another world title, and this is the next step. We are happy to give the fans what they want; they have been asking for this fight. Here it is. It is one of those [fights] that is best described by the phrase 'don't blink.'"
Stevens, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, got a shot at Golovkin in November 2013 and got wiped out in the eighth round of a fight as one-sided as GGG's bout with Lemieux. Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) is 4-1 since, including back-to-back victories on the undercard of major HBO PPV fights in Las Vegas. Last May, he smoked then-undefeated Patrick Teixeira in the second round on the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan card and followed with a 10-round decision win against James De La Rosa in November on the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev bill.
"The wait is finally over," said Stevens, who has been chasing Lemieux. "No more talking. My hands will do the talking on March 11."
Said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who promotes Stevens: "The fans have been asking for this fight for a while now, and it's not hard to see why. This fight is a perfect throwback 'Boxing After Dark' main event, and I can't wait to see it."