David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) will make his 168-pound debut when he takes on John “The Gorilla” Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs) in the scheduled 12-round co-main event of Canelo vs. Jacobs. The card will also feature the returns of Vergil Ortiz Jr., Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano, Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr., Sadam “World Kid” Ali and Lamont Roach Jr., in separate bouts. The event will take place Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
“There comes a time when every fighter must move up in weight, and now is that time for David Lemieux,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Lemieux was the hardest-hitting puncher in the 160-pound division, and I’m absolutely certain he will be the biggest puncher at 168 pounds. John Ryder will be in for a tough fight on May 4. Also, this undercard will feature some of our brightest stars, including Vergil Ortiz Jr., who with only 12 fights will face a tough veteran in Mauricio Herrera. Golden Boy and DAZN have crafted an excellent night of action, so don’t miss out on this one!”
Lemieux, 30, was last seen on the televised pay-per-view undercard of Canelo vs. GGG 2when he scored a first-round knockout victory against Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan. The native of Montreal, Canada promises to be stronger than ever in his super middleweight debut.
“I’ve seen [John] Ryder fight,” said David Lemieux. “He’s a credible rival, but I’m going to make a statement out of what I’m going to do with him. At 168, I’m going to be the strongest that I’ve ever been.”
Ryder is a 30-year-old native of London who is the No. 1 contender for the WBA Super Middleweight Title. Ryder has faced tough opposition, including a close fight against Rocky Fielding and a tough battle against Billy Joe Saunders. The “Gorilla” is coming off a seventh-round technical knockout win against previously undefeated Andrey Sirotkin, and he’ll look to retain his shot at the title with a win against Lemieux.
“I’m fully focused on the fight with David Lemieux, but obviously there’s a massive pot of gold for the winner,” said John Ryder. “There’s the potential for a fight with Canelo or a fight with Callum Smith, which are both huge. Lemieux is a big puncher if you stand in front of him. I’m a boxer-fighter. I’ll box him at times and fight him at other times when it suits me. Our fighting styles are sure to gel for a great fight. I’m expecting to win and to win well. I’m there to keep my mandatory position.”
“We can’t wait for David to show that he can be a powerhouse in the super middleweight division. What better way to demonstrate this than by fighting the No. 1 contender in John Ryder!,” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management.
“This is a great fight on a great night of boxing,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “John Ryder has been on a tremendous run, and now takes to the big stage in Las Vegas with the dangerous David Lemieux. It’s a huge fight for both with the winner being mandatory challenger for Callum Smith, and I fully expect that to be John Ryder.”
The undercard for this explosive co-main event will be filled with Golden Boy’s current and future stars.
Vergil Ortiz Jr. (12-0, 12 KOs) will face the biggest test of his career when he takes on Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (24-8, 7 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight battle. Ortiz Jr. is moving to welterweight for this fight only, and if he’s successful in this tough challenge, he’ll be on the fast track to a world title at 140 pounds.
Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (32-7-1, 22 KOs) will defend his WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Title against Michael “The Artist” Perez (25-3-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round fight. Cano will return after his dominant knockout victory against former three-division world champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares.
Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (28-1, 14 KOs) of South El Monte, Calif. will fight against a soon-to-be-announced opponent in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA Gold Super Featherweight Title. Diaz Jr. will return after a dominant victory against rugged warrior Charles Huerta.
Sadam “World Kid” Ali (27-2, 14 KOs) will return in a 10-round clash for the vacant USNBC Silver Welterweight Title against Anthony Young (20-2, 7 KOs) of Atlantic City, N.J.
Lamont Roach Jr. (18-0-1, 7 KOs) of Washington, D.C., will unify his WBO International Super Featherweight Title in a 10-round battle against NABO Super Featherweight Champion Jonathan Oquendo (30-5, 19 KOs) of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The winner of this bout will earn the No. 1 spot for the WBO Super Featherweight World Title.
Alexis Espino (1-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas, Nevada will participate in a four-round super middleweight fight against a soon-to-be announced opponent.
Canelo vs. Jacobs is a 12-round fight for the WBC, WBA, Lineal, Ring Magazine and IBF Middleweight World Titles presented by Golden Boy in association with Matchroom Boxing. Lemieux vs. Ryder is a 12-round super middleweight battle presented by Golden Boy in association with Eye of the Tiger Management and Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.