Former middleweight world titleholder David Lemieux, coming off a sensational third-round knockout of Curtis Stevens earlier this month, will return to the ring in short order.
Lemieux will take on Marcos "Dorado" Reyes in a scheduled 10-round bout at a maximum weight of 163 pounds on May 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the HBO PPV co-feature of the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight, Golden Boy Promotions announced Monday.
Montreal's Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs), 28, lost his 160-pound title to Gennady Golovkin by eighth-round knockout in an October 2015 unification fight. Lemieux has since won three fights in a row, including the blistering knockout of Stevens, whom he rendered unconscious with a left hand to the chin on March 11 in an HBO-televised main event.
"I'm thankful to have the opportunity of being part of this event during the Cinco de Mayo celebrations," Lemieux said in a news release. "I think I was able to send a clear message on March 11 with my performance against Stevens and I intend to do the same on May 6. I want to make sure that everyone understands that David Lemieux is making his way towards the top and that he intends to stay there."
If Lemieux and Alvarez win, there is a chance that they will meet on Sept. 16 -- should the long-awaited fight between Alvarez and Golovkin not come off. Lemieux and Alvarez are both with Golden Boy.
"Following his performance against Curtis Stevens ... fight fans wanted to see David in the ring again as soon as possible," Camille Estephan, Lemieux's co-promoter, said in the news release. "Being part of such a tremendous card that will be featured on May 6 with eyes on us from all around the world represents an incredible showcase opportunity. We are convinced that David will shine. He is in great shape and is more motivated than ever to conquer the top of the middleweight division."
Reyes (35-4, 26 KOs), 29, of Mexico, does not figure to give Lemieux much of a fight. He is coming off a win against a sub-.500 opponent on March 17, but in his previous fight was knocked out in the seventh round by journeyman Elvin Ayala, who is not much of a puncher. Two fights before that, Reyes lost a hard-fought, 10-round unanimous decision to Chavez. Reyes is 3-3 in his last six bouts, but talking a good game about Lemieux.
"I know everyone is talking about the Lemieux knockout, but I'm ready to take him out," Reyes said. "With my Mexican fans supporting me on Cinco de Mayo weekend, I'm ready to turn Lemieux's lights out."
Golden Boy also announced that featherweight up-and-comer Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr. (23-0, 13 KOs), a 24-year-old southpaw from South El Monte, California, will open the pay-per-view telecast in a 10-round bout against Manuel "Tino" Avila (22-0, 8 KOs), 24, of Fairfield, California. Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will defend his regional belt.
"I'm excited to return for the first time in 2017 and put my title on the line against such a tough competitor," Diaz said. "This fight will put me one step closer to a world title shot."
Although Avila is undefeated, he is taking a step up in competition against Diaz.
"This is a golden opportunity to move myself into world title contention, and I'm not planning to let that chance slip away," Avila said. "I know all about JoJo's undefeated record, but he's never faced anyone like me, and at the end of the night, my hand will be raised in victory."
Another bout on the pay-per-view undercard was previously announced. It matches 34-year-old Argentinean slugger Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) -- returning from a 19-month layoff caused by an eye injury -- and Emmanuel Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs), 26, of Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, in a 10-round welterweight fight.
"With three of Golden Boy Promotions' most exciting contenders [Lemieux, Matthysse and Diaz] appearing on the pay-per-view, as well as the biggest star in the sport, Canelo Alvarez, the Cinco de Mayo card can be described in one word -- stacked," Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. "I fully expect four action-packed fights that will have fans out of their seats for the entire evening."