For half a round, busted prospect Fernando Guerrero acted like he might give fellow busted prospect David Lemieux a challenge on Showtime Saturday night, jabbing and staying at distance. Then Lemieux did what Lemieux does, which is to hit people very, very, very hard, and Guerrero spent the next two and a half rounds on the canvas or on unstable legs, with the fourth knockdown of the “oh shit” variety — a right uppercut from which the badly bloodied Guerrero could not rise.
Lemieux was a top youngster at 160 not so long ago, then lost to Marco Antonio Rubio and Joachim Alcine consecutively in 2011 in the first fights where anyone could withstand his early assault — exposing poor work habits that led to insufficient stamina. He’s been building himself back up ever since, and signs point to him being on the right track, even if Guerrero had spent plenty of time on the canvas coming into the Lemieux bout. If he has his work ethic right, he’ll be a handful for anyone with that power and varied attack, although he’ll still have to overcome a reach (64″) that’s not as good as that of featherweight Nonito Donaire (66″). Showtime’s commentators were talking him up vs. the winner of Peter Quillin-Danny Jacobs. I doubt either would want it, unless they can get a big purse in Canada, where Lemieux showed he had a fan base yet again on Saturday.
Jermell Charlo’s performance was dominant on the Showtime undercard, too, just not remotely as watchable. He suffered the first knockdown of his career by Charlie Ohta in the 3rd, not that it was much of one — more of a balance question, really. He also lost a point in the 9th, deservedly, for low blows. But with his counterpunching, confounding movement and length advantage, he made the volume punching Ohta quiet. He also bruised up his left eye. Charlo is a top talent, no doubt, but judging from the complaints on Twitter about how boring the fight was, he’ll need every bit of the marketability he derives from just being plain good and having a twin brother who also is a threat in the junior middleweight division. This was a stay-busy fight, really, and a needless one that didn’t really do him any favors, especially since he wasn’t as good this time as he was against Gabriel Rosado. There are plenty of solid 154-pounders he could face next.
(Photo of Charlo, left, and Ohta, right, via Showtime)