Billy Joe Saunders outpoints David Lemieux
Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) outpointed hometown hero David Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) to retain the WBO Middleweight World Championship in the 12-round main event of HBO World Championship Boxing at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Saunders, a native of the United Kingdom, outboxed Lemieux for 12 rounds from his slick southpaw stance to win via unanimous decision with scores of 120-108, 117-111, and 118-110.
(Photo Credit: Matt Heasley-Hogansphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)
“I knew what sort of fighter David Lemieux is, and I knew what sort of coach he’s got,” said Saunders. “I knew what he was coming for. I look easy to hurt, but you can’t hit me. I like going to somebody’s backyard because I perform better. I’m a whole different animal now. When I hurt David, I wanted to put it on him. I really did, but that’s what I pay my trainer Dominic Ingle to do. I went to put it on him, but he told me to take my time, and that was the best advice.”
“I wasn’t at my best. Hats off to Billy Joe [Saunders],” said Lemieux. “From the second round on, I could not use my left hand the way I wanted, and he was on the run, so I had a hard time throwing my shots. It wasn’t my best night. A lot of this was because of me, because I couldn’t use my left hand the way I wanted to. He was running from the first round to the end, and I guess that’s his strategy to win. If this is the way you want to win, then congratulations.”
Irish middleweight Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) dropped and stopped Antoine “Action” Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KOs) of Burke, Virginia in the seventh round of an exciting back-and-forth co-main event that was initially scheduled for 10 rounds. Douglas scored an early lead with a hard jab and hooks to the body, but O’Sullivan eventually wore him down with an incessant amount of pressure, featuring left hooks and right hands from a high guard that guaranteed the technical knockout victory. Douglas was taken to the hospital immediately after the fight.
“I was sick for 2 weeks with a chest infection, so I was not at 100 percent,” said O’Sullivan. “I thought it was a good opportunity, so I decided to fight anyway. I’m happy with my performance, but I could have done better. Douglas is a tough guy with a good chin, and he had never been knocked out like that.”
Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-1, 9 KOs) scored a wide unanimous decision victory against Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (21-1, 17 KOs) across 10 rounds of super lightweight action. Ulysse scored a knockdown in each of the first three rounds, and followed that explosive opening with a veritable boxing lesson for the next seven rounds. All judges scored the fight 99-88 in favor of Ulysse.
“I was the underdog,” said Ulysse. “Everyone thought that I was in for a beating, and look at what happened. I told you that my moment was coming. Speed kills! The sky is the limit!”
“Yves Ulysse is a good fighter but he is not exciting,” said Seldin. “I was not expecting him to run that much. I thought he would come to fight coming from a decision lost. I showed my thoroughness and tried to finish strong but it was impossible because of all the running.”
Rising super featherweight star Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (13-0, 12 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. stopped the experienced southpaw Noe Martinez (10-10-2, 6 KOs) of Michoacan, Mexico via TKO in the final round of a scheduled eight-rounder.
“It was a great experience for me,” said Garcia. “I went eight rounds. I fought through adversity for the first time, and I felt like I pulled through it. I showed the true colors of a champion, and I even gave the fans a knockout in the last round because I always put it all on the line for the fans.”
Saunders vs. Lemieux, a 12-round fight for the Saunders’ WBO World Middleweight Championship, was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management in association with Frank Warren. Douglas vs. O’Sullivan was a 10-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of The Tiger Management in association with GH3 Promotions and Murphy’s Boxing. Seldin vs. Ulysse, Jr. was a 10-round super lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions, Eye of The Tiger Management and Star Boxing. The event took place on Saturday, Dec. 16 at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada and was televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.