Undefeated WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders defends his World Title against Canadian bruiser David Lemieux on December 16th in Quebec.
Saunders first lifted the WBO crown in December 2015 against Ireland’s Andy Lee, dropping him twice in one round on the way to outpointing the former Champion. A year later, the Hatfield fighter then followed up that performance with a close decision win over game Russian Artur Akavov, which ultimately led to the appointment of new trainer Dominic Ingle in the summer of 2017.
In September, the Champion dominated Middleweight contender Willie Monroe Jr, out-boxing the American over 12 rounds. Demonstrating new-found discipline and stamina under coach Ingle, in addition to his natural southpaw skill set, Saunders improved to 25-0 (12 KOs) in London.
French-speaking powerhouse Lemieux is known as a concussive puncher with 33 knockouts in 38 wins, and only 3 losses. He is possibly the hardest hitter Saunders will have fought thus far in his career.
The Canadian became IBF ruler in 2015 after beating Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, dropping the Frenchman four times en-route to a decision win to set up a bout with Kazakh superstar Gennady Golovkin. Lemieux fought bravely against ‘Triple G’ but lost via eighth round stoppage.
Since then the former Champion has racked up four wins on the trot against a who’s who of Middleweight contenders, including a highlight-reel KO against Curtis Stevens, and now has the chance cement his place as World Champion for a second time.
In this classic boxer versus puncher match-up, Saunders admits this is his biggest test to date. The Englishman will want to pass with flying colours in order to finally land a shot at Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez to unify the Middleweight division.