By Manuel Perez: David Lemieux plans on knocking WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders out and taking his title in the process in their rematch on December 16 in a still to be determined venue in Montreal, Canada.
The boxing careers of Lemieux and Saunders ride on their fight. The winner moves on to a tremendous payday against the either Saul Canelo Alvarez or Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. The loser of the Lemieux vs. Saunders fight will need to try and pick up the pieces of their careers and rebuild. It won’t be easy for Saunders to come back from a loss to Lemieux, especially a bad knockout loss.
Saunders has no punching power, and he’s shown serious issues with his stamina in the last 3 years. Saunders’ stamina looks worse with each fight. Moreover, Saunders’ game seems to have declined considerably since 2014. He’s aged and not for the better. Saunders is not the fighter he was when he first turned pro 8 years ago in 2009. It’s weird how Saunders’ game has deteriorated as he’s nearing 30. Some fighters age quicker than others.
Saunders is fighting more like a fighter in his 40s now, which is likely due to him gaining so much weight in between fights. Saunders turns his training camps into fat farms, and he’s forced to take off too much weight for him to be effective in his fights. The only reason Saunders is still winning is because he’s faced 2 weak opponents in his last 2 fights in Willie Monroe Jr. and Artur Akavov.
Lemieux, 28, has had enough of Saunders’ big mouth and he plans on shutting it big time when the two middleweights fight on HBO Championship Boxing in less than 2 months from now. This is a fight that will give the Golden Boy Promotions KO artist Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) a title that he can use to get the winner or the loser of the May 5th rematch between the two top dogs at 160 Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
No matter what happens in that fight, Canelo is the more likely fighter that Lemieux will be meeting up with soon, if he whips Saunders on December 16. He’s got to whip the daylights out of Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) for him to get the Canelo fight. He’s not going to get that fight if he loses to the British fighter. Lemieux must smash him, and then hope that Canelo gets past GGG on May 5. If Canelo gets knocked to oblivion by Triple G, then it’s unlikely that Golden Boy will want to risk their prized goose by putting him in with a big puncher like Lemieux.
“It’s time to be world champion again. Saunders is about to get destroyed.” said Lemieux. ”I’m going to be extremely ready for this fight and I’m going to inflict a lot of pain on Saunders. His 0 must go.”
Lemieux is going to need to have a good engine to wear Saunders down, because he’s likely going to be prepared to move for a full 12 rounds. We know, of course, that Saunders is incapable of doing that. But he will be able to move for good 5-6 rounds before he tires, and becomes completely stationary. It’ll be up to Lemieux to be in good enough condition to fight hard for that period and longer for him to get the knockout. Lemieux has faded in the past back in 2011 in his losses to Jochim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubio. Those are fights that Lemieux should have won if he had the gas tank to go the full 12 rounds, but he used up too much energy early on and had nothing left after the 5th.
“Lemieux looks good against ‘B level’ fighters, but he is now getting in the ring with someone who is far more superior and slick than anyone he has ever been in with,” said Saunders. ”I don’t just want the dog meat that Golovkin has left behind, I want the dog himself and when I come through this fight I will have him,” said Saunders.
Lemieux does have victories over Curtis Stevens, Gabriel Rosado and Hassan NDam. Those are good fighters, and he showed that he had the fire power to get past each of them. Saunders would have problems with each of them. I’m not saying Saunders wouldn’t beat them, but it wouldn’t be easy. NDam has the boxing skills and the power to beat Saunders. It would be interesting to see what the results of a fight between Saunders and NDam would be like.
”He is a mandatory and we’ve agreed to a deal to go over to foreign soil and get it on,” said Saunders. “I have a lot of friends in Canada, and I’ll be bringing a lot of supporters over to Canada from the UK. It has all the makings of a good fight. I’m expecting a good, clean, fair decision. Once I beat Lemieux I’ll be moving onto bigger fish; the winner of the rematch between Canelo and Golovkin. I’m looking forward to a great fight.”
Canelo and Golovkin are the guys that Saunders has been longing to fight since he won the WBO title 2 years ago in beating Andy Lee by a 12-round majority decision. Saunders has been waiting for just the right amount of money for him to agree to a fight against one of them. Canelo has shown no interest in fighting Saunders, unfortunately. Golovkin has wanted to, but the money hasn’t been there for Saunders. He took a risk in waiting this long, hoping the money would be good enough for him to finally take the fight. But now the World Boxing Organization has thrown a monkey wrench in Saunders’ plans by ordering him to fight #1 WBO Lemieux, his mandatory. This is not a fight that Saunders can overlook. This is one that Lemieux very well could lose if he can’t use his boxing skills to pound out a decision. Saunders isn’t even assuming that he’s going to be able to KO Lemieux. He’s hoping that he can just beat him by a decision.