Saunders Schools Lemieux

By Robert Ecksel on December 16, 2017
Saunders Schools Lemieux
The big three—Golovkin, Canelo, Jacobs—have been put on notice. (Ed Mulholland/HBO)

WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) toyed with David Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) over 12 conclusive rounds…

Saturday night at Place Bell in Laval, Québec, Canada, WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), the unbeaten southpaw from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, toyed with David Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs), the hard-hitting former IBF middleweight champion from Montréal, Québec, Canada, over 12 conclusive rounds.

The final scores were 120-108 (Benoit Roussel), 118-110 (Phil Edwards), and 117-111 (Gerardo Martinez).

Fighting out of the red corner in white trunks trimmed in blue and gold, Saunders was superb. He dominated his opponent from the opening bell and made an elite fighter look like an amateur.

Lemieux, fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks in front of an adoring hometown crowd, never got started. The champion was too big, too smart, too young and too talented, too much, in Saunders’ words, for a “one-dimensional” fighter like Lemieux to deal with.

Fighting off the jab and using every inch of the ring, Sanders put on a clinic. He drew first blood. He rearranged Lemieux’s features as the fight progressed.

“I knew what sort of fighter David Lemieux is and I know what sort of coach he’s got,” said Saunders after the fight. “I knew what he was coming for. I look easy to hit, I look easy to hurt, I look easy to put down, I look like I’m running out of gas. But you can’t hit me.”

Lemieux couldn’t hit Saunders, but not for want of trying.

According to CompuBox, Saunders landed 165 of 430 total punches thrown (38.4%) to 67 of 356 (18.8%) for Lemieux. Saunders connected with 103 of 279 jabs (36.9%) to Lemieux’s 12 of 120 (10%). The power punch ratio, Lemieux’s calling card as it were, was only somewhat better. Lemieux landed 55 of 236 power punches (23%) to 62 of 151 (41%) for Saunders.

Saunders put Golovkin, Canelo, and Jacobs on notice. He loves to spoil a party, especially when the party’s not for him.

“I know you’re booing me because I whooped your fighter’s ass,” Saunder’s told the rowdy Canadian crowd. “I wouldn’t have come over here if I thought I’d get beat…I’m a different animal now. I wanted to put it on Lemieux…Canelo fight me NOW!”

Canelo will fight anyone if the price is right. Saunders is in the mix where he belongs and can beat anyone on his best night. Lemieux no longer poses a threat and trying to explain things away only makes it worse.

“I wasn’t at my best,” Lemieux said. “As of the second round I couldn’t use my left hand the way I wanted to. He was on the run and I had difficulty throwing my shots. I guess his strategy to win is to run away from fighters instead of fighting. If that’s the way you want to win then, hey, congratulations.”

Congratulations are in order. The middleweight division is due for a shakeup and Billy Joe Saunders is the man to do it.

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  1. Lucas McCain 01:41pm, 12/17/2017

    Most encouraging to me is fans getting psyched for skilled boxers as well as for sluggers.  The Lomachenko fight may have been an anticlimax, but enthusiasm was high for seeing two master boxers and the TV ratings were over 2 million!  The Sweet Science gets a little Sweeter.

  2. Kool 12:40pm, 12/17/2017

    Saunders vs Lemieux.  Middle Weights are stacked now!

  3. Gogea Mitu 10:06am, 12/17/2017

    The move of the night was when David swung with his right so hard and missed that the momentum carried him half way across the ring along the ropes! Saunders pantomimed looking far off into the crowd as if trying to see what Lemieux was aiming at or just where his punch may have landed! Roy Jones very concerned about Antoine Douglas like a father for a son unlike John Molina’s dad when John receipts for brain bashing shots over and over and over again!

  4. Lucas McCain 09:49am, 12/17/2017

    Fighters work with their natural strengths, though skills can be polished.  It’s not clear how Marciano would have fared against Tunney or in a real fight with Ali.  Last night’s fight reminded me a lot of Ken Buchanan vs. Donato Paduano.  Buchanan was a splendid and elusive boxer-puncher, and it took an all-time great (and roughneck) fighter like Duran to catch up to him.

  5. Boxers-2 Pinchers-0 08:28am, 12/17/2017

    What a stinker. Lepew and the Hebrew Hammer need to quit going to the same shrink. They stunk up the place. Lemieux worse because he is a veteran. Dare I say it; either BJS is really that good or DL sucks that bad so bring on BJS and GGG or BJS and Jacobs.

    I do think that GGG and Jacobs would catch BJS in his switch ups and hurt him.

    Let’s watch boxing percolate this until everybody is over 40 and it becomes irrelavent.

  6. Lucas McCain 07:02am, 12/17/2017

    If I recall correctly, in the olden days miners would bury themselves up to the waist, at arms’ length, and pound away until one of them was knocked out cold or submitted.  Them ugly days are over in the world of professional sports.  Lemieux’s “run away” remark is tolerable only to save face with his fans (it doesn’t save your actual face, though!).  Dempsey also gestured a ” come on and fight” swipe with his hand at Tunney as Gene boxed his ears off. But everyone, even in the roaring 1920s, knew what it was worth.

  7. Stephen Gould 06:18am, 12/17/2017

    If BJS was on his bike all evening, as Lemieux implies, how come he landed so many shots?  BJS’ performance was a spectacular example of “hit, and don’t get hit”.

    BTW I can see how a judge might have scored one round to Lemieux - the last one - but certainly not 3.

  8. Kid Blast 10:26pm, 12/16/2017

    And now belongs in the mix with Jacobs, GGG, and Canelo.

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