The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Saunders beats Lemieux to retain title

Saunders beats Lemieux to retain WBO middleweight title

By James Bell

@boxingsource2

At Place Bell in Laval, boxing fans were rooting hard for their countryman David Lemieux to be a middleweight champion once again. He had his opportunity to do it against the defending WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders in the main event on Saturday night.

Saunders had completely different plans. He used foot movement and a consistent jab to frustrate Lemieux from Round 1 to Round 12, leading to an easy unanimous decision victory to retain the WBO middleweight title and remain undefeated at 26-0. The scorecards read 118-110, 117-111, and a shutout score of 120-108 for Saunders.

The gameplan for Lemeiux was executed very well by Saunders, as his reach advantage made him very difficult for Lemieux to reach. There were times when Lemieux swung wildly to attempt to land on Saunders, but he ended up landing on air. Overall, Lemieux only landed 19 percent of the punches that he threw over 12 rounds.

After the fight, Saunders was very happy with his performance and very confident in his future. “I know you’re booing me because I whipped your fighter’s ass, but that’s boxing,” Saunders told the crowd in his interview with Max Kellerman. “I know what sort of fighter David Lemieux is, I know what sort of coach he’s got. I knew what he was coming for…”

“I look easy to whip, I look easy to put down, I look like I can run out of gas. But you can’t hit me.”

He credited his trainer Dominic Ingle for his performance against Lemieux as it was the second fight that those two worked together.

“When I hurt David, I wanted to put it on him. I really did want to put it on him,” Saunders said. “I went to put it on him, and he was screaming, ‘Take your time! Don’t! Don’t!’ And to be fair, it was the best advice, because then I picked, poked, prodded him.”

Looking forward into 2018, Billy Joe Saunders wants to get the big fights. Possible fights were brought up for him, but he is focused on one guy in particular: Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin is the man with the other major belts at middleweight, and he has said for a while that he wants to be the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Saunders feels that he is ready for the challenge now.

“Golovkin, you keep saying you want my WBO belt when I was out of shape,” said Saunders, who has the only major belt Golovkin doesn’t have. “Fight me now. You’ll be seeing different stories. You’ll be punching fresh air.”

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Saunders beats Lemieux to retain title
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Saunders beats Lemieux to retain title

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