LAS VEGAS -- Former middleweight titleholder David Lemieux, trying to re-establish himself following an eighth-round knockout loss to Gennady Golovkin in their October unification fight and having a March fight canceled because he did not make weight, scored a dominant fourth-round knockout of Glen Tapia on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Fighting in the co-feature middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez's first defense against Amir Khan, Lemieux pounded Tapia throughout the fight and may have set himself up for a future shot against Alvarez.
"It's just the beginning," Lemieux said. "There are a lot of great accomplishments to accomplish. This is just the beginning. [I want] the top guys, of course. The winner of the main, the best fighters out there."
Lemieux (35-3, 32 KOs), 27, of Montreal, started fast by taking it to the stationary Tapia in the opening round. His punches were obviously more powerful. He buckled Tapia (23-3, 15 KOs), 26, of Passaic, New Jersey, with a hard right hand to the face in the second round and had him in trouble.
Lemieux continued to land powerful punches that physically moved Tapia. In the fourth round, he dropped him for the first time in his career with a left-right combination to the head. Tapia beat the count but his corner stepped onto the ring apron to ask for the fight to be stopped and referee Russell Mora waved it off at 56 seconds.
"Hats off to Glen Tapia. He's a very solid fighter and I have a lot of respect for him," Lemieux said. "I came out boxing him and started to land shots. I saw some openings and I took them. I had to be on top of my game."
Said Tapia: "I was losing every round. I just couldn't get off. I felt a little tired."
Tapia lost his second fight in a row, having been upset in a fourth-round knockout loss to Michel Soro that sent him into a year layoff and a rise in weight from junior middleweight to middleweight.
Gomez dominates Herrera in shutout
Welterweight Frankie Gomez, who made weight and appeared to come in shape for a change, dished out a beating to veteran contender Mauricio Herrera in a shutout decision victory.
All three judges scored the fight 100-90, as did ESPN.com.
"It feels good to get this victory," Gomez said. "I trained really hard and it paid off. I'm ready to take on my next challenge and take on the best."
Herrera came out of a rough second round with a cut under his left eye and cuts over and under his right eye, at least one of which seemed like happened on an errant elbow from Gomez.
Gomez, 24, of East Los Angeles, continued to pour it on in the fourth round in a dominant performance. Herrera, 35, of Riverside, California, looked utterly baffled by what was coming at him and had no answers.
Gomez (21-0, 13 KOs), trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, strafed Herrera (22-6, 7 KOs) with body shots and a right hands to head repeatedly in the best showing of his career.
"It wasn't my night," Herrera said. "I never give up and my fans know that. I hope to be back in Vegas soon because I'll go anywhere for a fight."
Hard-luck Herrera had previously lost a disputed majority decision to then-junior welterweight champion in 2014 and an even more controversial decision and his interim junior welterweight belt to Jose Benavidez Jr. later in 2014.
Curtis Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs), 31, a middleweight from Brooklyn, New York, who had not fought since a decision loss to former world titleholder Hassan N'Dam in a title elimination fight in October 2014, drilled Brazilian southpaw Patrick Teixeira (26-1, 22 KOs), 26, with one punch in the second round.
"The name of the game is to knock people out and that's what I did tonight," said Stevens, who fought for a world title in 2013 but got knocked out by Gennady Golovkin in the eighth round. "I feel great to get back into the game after my 1½-year break. I really want [David] Lemieux, but I will take whatever I can get. My head is right, and I'm ready to take on whoever."
Teixeira, who was facing a reputable opponent for the first time, connected with a shot but Stevens countered with a right hand down the middle that knocked him down hard. He made it to his feet but he was in terrible shape and referee Tony Weeks waved off the fight at 1 minute, 4 seconds.
"This fight was not how I expected it to go," Teixeira said.
Mexican junior featherweight Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs), a first cousin of Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, looked very good pummeling Rocco Santomauro (13-1, 1 KO), of Duarte, California, into a seventh-round knockout.
"This victory is satisfying to me because it shows all the hard work I put into my training camp," De La Hoya said. "I wasn't expecting the knockout but it was very satisfying, and I believe the crowd enjoyed it."
De La Hoya connected with a clean right hand down middle with about 20 seconds left in the second round and Santomauro went down and then round ended with him taking more punishment.
Referee Jay Nady penalized De La Hoya one point for a low blow in the seventh round but it hardly mattered. He had beaten and battered Santomauro throughout the fight, turning his face into a lumpy, swollen mass until trainer Shane Mosley, the former three-division world champion, threw in the towel at 1 minute, 59 seconds of the seventh rounds.
"I fought horrible," Santomauro said. "I was very unfocused. I didn't agree with the corner's decision to stop the fight. I feel physically well because I am a fighter and I'm going to keep on fighting. But, you know, all I can do is move forward."
Irish middleweight Jason Quigley (11-0, 9 KOs) looked sharp in a shutout decision against James de la Rosa (23-4, 13 KOs), of Harlingten, Texas, the most notable opponent of his career. Quigley was the stronger man and imposed himself throughout the fight, lashing him with power shots and opening a small cut over De La Rosa's left eye. All three judges has him winning 100-90.
Quigley had him hurt in the ninth round as he drove him into the ropes with a series of clean head shots from both hands. De la Rosa survived the crisis when he shoved Quigley to the mat and bought a few seconds of recovery time. De la Rosa was coming off a fifth-round knockout loss to Hugo Centeno in December 2012 and had not fought since, although a March fight against David Lemieux was canceled when Lemieux failed to make weight.
Lamont Roach Jr. (11-0, 3 KOs), a junior lightweight from Washington, D.C., bombarded Mexico's Jose Arturo Esquivel (9-5, 2 KOs) with fast combinations throughout their fight en route to a shutout decision, 79-72 on all three scorecards. Referee Vic Drakulich penalized Roach one point in the sixth round for low blows.
Boston welterweight Rashidi Ellis (15-0, 11 KOs) used a tremendous speed advantage and quick jab to easily control Marco Antonio Lopez (25-9, 16 KOs), of Mexico, in a shutout decision. All three judges had Ellis winning 80-72.
In the first fight in T-Mobile Arena history, junior welterweight David Mijares (1-0, 0 KOs), of Santa Monica, California, was faster than Omar Reyes (1-3, 0 KOs), of Corpus Christi, Texas, and worked him over to the body to win a shutout decision in his pro debut. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in his favor.