Lemieux looking to crown former 'King"
by Dave Spencer, FightNews Canada

The King is dead. Long live the King.

There once was a time when former world champion Joachim Alcine (32-2-1 19KO) was dubbed the “King” by his longtime Montreal promoter Group Yvon Michel (GYM). Alcine was the first world champion produced by the Montreal based promoter but little did Michel know at the time he would end up losing his King to another King, Don King, Alcine’s reign amongst boxing’s royalty would be short lived and his time at the top would quickly fade under the infamous promoter.

Alcine who is now promoted by Lou Dibella is intent on getting back some of that lost luster this Saturday as he goes up against knockout artist David Lemieux (25-1 24 KO) at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

After five competitive and fairly even rounds in July 2008, Alcine lost his WBA light-middleweight championship on a single punch to Daniel Santos. A left hand from the Puerto Rican fighter in the sixth put Alcine flat on his back, dethroning the undefeated fighter who stayed down for the count of ten.

It took over a year before Alcine returned to the ring, but despite all of their efforts, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men could not make Alcine in a champion again. New management. New trainer. New promoter.

Then it was pretty much rinse, lather and repeat as the new management, promoter and trainer barely made of the starting gates of stage two of Alcine’s career and were once again replaced.

“I believe that if Joachim had of stayed with us, we would have been able to get him back as a world champion,” Alcine’s former promoter Yvon Michel told Fightnews this week.

“We were upset the way Joachim left,” said Michel, “He was under contract with us when he signed with Don King, but he signed a five year contract with King and he got one fight and one round out of it.

“He has to live with the decision that he made then.”

Michel after waiting a year managed to get two fights and two victories from Alcine before losing him to King for an ill-fated three minutes with Alfredo Angulo who wiped the Montreal fighter off the map of possible contenders at 154 pounds.

“We set him up with a good program, a good game-plan. We beat a tough guy in (Eric) Mitchell. We got a good win against (Christophe) Canclaux who was ranked at that time. We got him to a top-five ranking in every association. The goal at the time was to bring him as a mandatory contender for Cory Spinks who was the IBF champ and I’m sure he would have beat Cory Spinks. But instead since Spinks was already with Don King, they gave him Angulo which was a bad bad fight for him at that time.”

While you might expect Michel to be wringing his hands in anticipation of possible revenge, the promoter says that is not the case. “Not at all,” he calmly states when asked of the possibility. “I believe that Joachim Alcine is the most talented fighter that David has ever fought. Alcine is a better fighter than Marco Antonio Rubio. Rubio before he fought David were saying he was knocked out in one round by Kofi Jantuah, he was over-powered by Kelly Pavlik. Finally though we saw that he was a veteran who could handle a young stallion and we all know the results. Joachim Alcine is much more talented than Rubio, he has a better resume. He was knocked out twice, once in a world championship and the other one with Alfredo Angulo. That doesn’t mean he has a problem there, it just means he got caught at that time. I believe he has maturity, experience and I believe he will use all of it against David on Saturday.”

Meanwhile Alcine has set of a fire-storm this week and has pointed his finger at his former team, saying he was blind in one eye in advance of his world championship fight with Santos in 2008.

The Santos fight was a blessing for me,” Alcine told Fightnews earlier this week. “Sometimes we are negligent about certain things, and those things, when things are going well, you forget about because you’re stuck in the same situation.

“I had to face the defeat to become better than what I was. I could have been blind after that fight if I had won because they had already scheduled other fights and I was blind in one eye. This is one thing that nobody ever know because I didn’t want to make excuses after I lost the fight.

“I was blind in my left eye since I fought Travis Simms and the doctor didn’t find out about these things when he checked my eyes. Also when I let Group GYM know about all these things and that I can’t fight they come and tell me if I can’t fight I’m going to lose the belt and that they’re going to take the belt away from me.

“So they lied to me about these things. If I knew, I’d never accept to fight this guy. So I had to go in and it was like going in there with one hand against a good fighter. You know that I’m a good fighter but it was like being in there with one hand.

“I need both of my eyes, I went there with one eye and I didn’t see the punch coming. At the end I was winning the fight but it was one punch and boom, I went down, I didn’t see it coming. It’s the punch you don’t see, that’s the one that sends you to the floor. One month after I had the operation (for a cataract in his left eye), that’s the reason you didn’t see me for one year after this fight. I had to have time for the eye to heal.”

Both Alcine’s former promoter and trainers aren’t buying the eye and say that the fighter is simply trying to find an excuse. Alcine’s trainer at the time Howard Grant went one step further and called the remarks slanderous.

If you wish to contact the author of this article, email Dave Spencer at FightNews Canada