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Glen Tapia gets chance to prove doubters wrong on T-Mobile Arena boxing card

Given his recent history, Glen Tapia should feel fortunate he landed a spot on a high-profile card.

Tapia will face David Lemieux in a 10-round middleweight bout that will headline the undercard on the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan World Boxing Council middleweight title fight May 7 at T-Mobile Arena.

Tapia (23-2, 15 knockouts) hasn’t fought in a year. He lost his last fight by fourth-round technical knockout, was struggling to make the 154-pound limit and was subsequently dropped by his promoter.

He said he has no one to blame but himself.

“I put myself in this situation,” Tapia said Tuesday in a conference call to promote his fight with Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) on HBO Pay Per View. “But this is a great opportunity and a chance for me to prove everyone wrong.”

Tapia said leaving 154 pounds to fight at middleweight is something he probably should have done earlier in his career.

“I was killing myself,” he said of trying to make weight. “I couldn’t even train to fight. I was always training just to make weight.”

Tapia was hoping to have fought sooner since getting stopped by Michel Soro on May 8 in Newark, New Jersey. It just never materialized.

“They’ve been telling me since November I’d be fighting,” Tapia said of Top Rank, his former promoter. “But things kept happening. I understand it’s a business. I’m not going to bad-mouth Top Rank. But now that I’m with Golden Boy, I’m excited about my future. What a way to start at 160 (pounds).”

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said he thinks Tapia can regain his form and be a star at middleweight. But he has to prove it against a tough veteran in Lemieux, who is coming off a loss to Gennady Golovkin on Oct. 17.

“It’s a make-or-break fight for both guys,” De La Hoya said. “They both know they have to perform.”

■ JACK TITLE DEFENSE — WBC super middleweight champ Badou Jack will defend his title against Lucian Bute on April 30 in Washington, D.C., on a Showtime-televised card that also will feature International Boxing Federation champ James DeGale defending his belt against Rogelio Medina.

The winners will meet this year in a unification title fight on Showtime.

“I believe I’m the best super middleweight in the world, and I know that I have the skills to beat anyone I get in the ring with,” said Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs). “I’m fully focused on Lucian Bute, but I know that a win can set up a massive fight against James DeGale, and I’m going to deliver.”

Bute (32-3, 25 KOs) is the former IBF champ and had nine title defenses from 2007 to 2012. He lost to DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) on Nov. 28 by unanimous decision.

■ HOF EVENT — The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame will have a meet and greet fundraiser at 6 p.m. Friday at Circus Circus’ Tatuado restaurant.

Several current and former boxing champions will be on hand to sign autographs, pose for pictures and participate in a karaoke competition. Admission is free.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj

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