Former middleweight titleholder David Lemieux had been knocked out by Gennady Golovkin in their October unification fight and was scheduled to make his return on March 12 in his hometown of Montreal against James de la Rosa.
But Lemieux did not come close to the 163-pound weight for a fight already contracted at three pounds over the middleweight limit. Instead, Lemieux was 165.6 pounds and the fight was canceled. It was an embarrassment for Lemieux and it angered his handlers, who wound up putting on the card with a much lesser main event.
The 27-year-old Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) claimed he was ill the week before the fight and couldn't drop the extra weight. He said it won't be a problem as he returns in a crossroads fight against Glen Tapia (23-2, 15 KOs), 26, of Passaic, New Jersey, on Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Lemieux-Tapia is the co-feature on the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan card.
"I'm ready to get back in business. In my last fight, I didn't make weight. I had some issues. I can talk about it all I want and say a lot of excuses," Lemieux said. "There are no excuses. The people don't care about the excuses.
"One thing I can say, this fight I'm coming in, I'm making weight and I'm coming here for business. You have my 100 percent. I'm going to be stronger and better than ever. I'm extremely excited to be on the show and to be giving the fans the best of me."
He said he would not struggle to make the limit at 160 pounds, a weight he has fought at since 2009.
"It's not a problem for me to make 160," he said. "It will be made on [Friday]."
Camille Estephan, Lemieux's co-promoter, said Lemieux saw a doctor who determined it was safe for him to make 160 pounds.
"We have done testing with regards to David's body composition and got a medical opinion as to, is David a middleweight or should he be a super middleweight," Estephan said. "And the medical opinion, given his bone density, body structure, is that definitely David can do 160 without a problem. So we don't foresee any issues."
One of the obvious reasons Lemieux-Tapia is on the card is because Alvarez needs future opponents, especially if he doesn't fight Golovkin in the fall, as most suspect will be the case.. An impressive Lemieux win probably puts him in the conversation for an eventual Alvarez fight.
But Lemieux said he would not consider fighting Alvarez at his preferred weight of 155 pounds, or anything less than the full 160-pound division limit.
"I like Canelo. He's a good fighter," he said. "I'm not afraid of nobody in the boxing world. I don't just say this to try to promote myself; I actually want to beat everybody and fight all the top names out there. I don't want to avoid nobody. Canelo, he's a significant fighter in the middleweights. First of all, I'd like to see him make the middleweight limit. Yes, it would be a great fight.
"First I have things to accomplish and to make sure I get everything straightened out with Glen Tapia. Then I'll fight anybody in the middleweights. It's not a problem for me. I'm a middleweight. I'll never go below 160, not even for X amount of money."