Saunders/Lemieux Promise Slugfest

By Marc Livitz on December 11, 2017
Saunders/Lemieux Promise Slugfest
“Boxing is very dangerous. One punch can change everything. I have to be on my game.”

Each man is looking for a signature win in order to gain possible consideration to face either Golovkin or Alvarez in the near future…

The middleweight division is currently confined to two talents, if the mainstream media has its way. However, outside the names and marketability of a particular Mexican redhead and a Kazakhstani knockout artist, there are several additional fighters in the proverbial basket who would like to be considered as potential stars as well. After Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez fought to a questionable draw in September, some of the focus within the 160-pound weight class switched to the man who holds the one sanctioned title outside of the two.

Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KO’s) currently holds the WBO world middleweight championship and he is taking a step outside of his native England for the first time in his eight-year professional career. This Saturday, December 16 in Laval, Quebec, Canada, Saunders will help open the brand new Place Bell when he takes part in what he hopes is an all-action contest against Montreal native David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KO’s). Each man is looking for a signature win in order to gain possible consideration to face either Golovkin or Alvarez in the near future.

Lemieux squared off against “GGG” Golovkin two years ago but was knocked out in eight rounds after losing seemingly every moment of the contest. American audiences last saw David in the ring this past May, when he knocked around Marcos Reyes for ten uneventful rounds as part of the undercard for Canelo Alvarez’s walkover triumph of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.

Since he defeated Andy Lee for the WBO middleweight crown almost two years ago, Saunders has fought just once. He topped Willie Monroe, Jr. by way of unanimous decision this past September at the Copper Box Arena in London. On Monday afternoon, Saunders, Lemieux and pieces of their respective promotional companies participated in an international media conference call to discuss their upcoming showdown which is billed as ‘Declaration of War.’

Selected Highlights Listed Below

Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions: “This will surely be a showdown between two heavy hitters. Billy Joe Saunders will battle heavy handed David Lemieux. We also have a spectacular co-main event, which is Antoine Douglas taking on Gary O’Sullivan for the vacant WBO inter-continental middleweight title. The HBO telecast will begin with Cletus ‘The Hebrew Hammer’ Sedlin making his return to the ring just three weeks after a sensational knockout victory.”

David Lemieux, Opening Statements: “I am very excited for this chance to become a world champion again. It’s been a great camp. I am more excited just to get the chance to lay my hands on Saunders. He’s got a big mouth. I just hope his fighting matches his mouth. He’d better be prepared because it won’t be easy for him. Actually, it will be Hell for him. If it goes a full twelve rounds, then that’s unfortunate for him. I’ll leave the ring with the WBO world title.”

WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders, Opening Statements: “The champ is here. The champ alone. Training camp was very, very good. I am in the best shape ever. No excuses. This will be a great fight and I’ll give David a bit of a beating.”

Lemieux on his loss to Golovkin and showdown with Saunders: “I am older and wiser than I was then. If you put Golovkin back in front of me now, then it’s a whole different scenario. I don’t think this fight with Saunders will be too difficult for me.  I’m in the best shape of my career and I am going to surprise a lot a people.”

On his dislike for Saunders: “I’m going to make him pay in the ring. He can’t run away for twelve rounds. His character and who he is, I don’t like him.”

Saunders on fighting outside of the U.K. for the first time: “I go to enemy territory all the time. I fought Andy Lee in enemy territory. That was English, Irish and Scottish. I’ve seen David fight and I think he’s weak in the mind. Bring a blindfold and put it on me and I’ll still beat him. That’s how confident I am.”

On Lemieux’s record: “Yeah, he knocks out bums and old men. He fought bums all the way up to Golovkin. Curtis Stevens is nothing special. He got spanked by Golovkin and he didn’t win a round against him.”

On the significance of a win: “I want whoever is next. I would love to fight Canelo Alvarez. I believe that styles make fights. If David Lemieux beats me fair and square, then I’ll shake his hand. I don’t want a ‘Canelo/Golovkin’ decision. I think it will be fair from these judges but David has already said that he’s going to knock me out.”

“When I win this fight, I want Canelo. That’s the one you need to win to be a superstar. I’ll go to Las Vegas or wherever they want me to go. I’m not in it for money or anything else. There will be no slip-ups on Saturday night.”

David Lemieux on facing Canelo or Golovkin: “These are names that will come up sooner or later, so I’ll be ready when the time comes.”

“If you look at the losses I’ve suffered, there’s only one that matters. The other ones are early in my career. I still don’t believe that I lost that fight to Alcine. The first step is to get that WBO title and then we can talk about Golovkin or Canelo.”

Saunders on the same: “I know Golovkin and Canelo hold the ace cards. If them two aren’t fighting and I beat one of Oscar De La Hoya’s fighters, then I want to face Canelo.”

Billy Joe on going to Canada: “David’s team wouldn’t come to England. Traveling is nothing for me. I’ve been boxing all over the world since I was a 16-year-old. I’ve seen David at his extreme best and that doesn’t worry me. Boxing is a dangerous sport. One punch can change everything. I have to be on my game.”

“When I come to someone’s backyard, I’ll leave no stone unturned. There is no better Billy Joe Saunders showing up there on Saturday night.”

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