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David Benavidez-David Lemieux super middleweight clash set for May 21, sources say

David Benavidez and David Lemieux will meet on May 21 at Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Benavidez's hometown, for a Premier Boxing Champions on Showtime main event, sources told ESPN on Friday.

ESPN reported in December that the boxers signed contracts for the 168-pound bout that could line the winner up for a shot at a title held by Canelo Alvarez.

Already, Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) is looking ahead. He won't fight Canelo in 2022 after Alvarez chose a path that will lead to a September trilogy bout with Gennadiy Golovkin, so Benavidez expressed interest last month in a matchup with Demetrius Andrade.

The longtime middleweight champion is moving up to 168 pounds for a fight with Zach Parker that's slated for May 21 in the United Kingdom.

"I want to challenge myself," said Benavidez, ESPN's No. 2 super middleweight. "I'm tired of talking s--- and going back and forth with fighters that don't want to fight. It's a waste of time. It's a waste of energy. If a fighter does want to fight, that's what I'm here for. I'm not here to be on social media talking s--- to everybody."

The volume-punching Benavidez has twice held a 168-pound title and has never lost it in the ring. Instead, the 25-year-old was stripped once after testing positive for cocaine and a second time after failing to make weight.

Benavidez was slated to face Jose Uzcategui in November, but the fight was scrapped after Uzcategui tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Kyrone Davis stepped in on short notice and was stopped in the seventh round by Benavidez.

Lemieux (43-4, 35 KOs) promises to offer far more resistance. The former middleweight champion is 3-0 since moving to 168 pounds and is ranked No. 8 by ESPN, but Lemieux has yet to fight anyone approaching the top 10. Now, the 33-year-old will be installed as an underdog against Benavidez in what shapes up as an all-action fight.

The Montreal native was one of the biggest punchers in boxing when he campaigned at 160 pounds. That includes a spectacular KO of Curtis Stevens in 2017. During that middleweight run, he also scored a TKO victory over Gabe Rosado. Among his title defeats: a one-sided TKO loss to Golovkin and a lopsided decision defeat vs. Billy Joe Saunders.