Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux – Weights
By Jim Dower: A very thin looking Billy Joe Saunders weighed in at 160 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in for his fight with mandatory challenger David Lemieux this Saturday night on HBO at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada.
Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) also weighed in at 160 pounds. Lemieux, 28, didn’t look nearly as weight-drained as Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) despite having to take off his shorts for the weigh-in. Lemieux has looked far worse than this for some of his past fights.
What this suggests is Saunders is going to put a ton of weight back on when he rehydrates before Saturday night’s fight against Lemieux. When the fight was first announced, Saunders looked very chunky, like a non-athlete. Saunders appeared to be carrying around well over 20 pounds of fat on his frame.
Lemieux is going to be looking to make short of Saunders by knocking him out as fast as humanely possible on Saturday night. Lemieux doesn’t like Saunders, and he wants to destroy him and shut his mouth for good. Lemieux is most dangerous in the early rounds of his fights, and he’ll have his best chance of knocking out Saunders in the first 6 rounds. If Lemieux can’t get Saunders out of there by that point in the fight, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to stop him in the final 6 rounds.
The Lemieux vs. Saunders winner is likely to be the next opponent for the winner of the May 5th middleweight contest between IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC 160 lb. champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Lemieux already lost to GGG by an 8th round knockout 2 years ago in 2015, but he’s improved since then. The fight against Triple G will still make Lemieux a ton of money if he can get past Saunders and if Golovkin can beat Canelo.
The real prize for Lemieux is a fight against Canelo, because he’s a big a big pay-per-view star in the U.S on HBO. Saunders has been waiting for a big money fight with Gennady or Alvarez since he won the WBO middleweight title 2 years ago, but he’s been unable to get the fight for the money that he wants. If Saunders beats Lemieux, he’s going to take the winner of the Canelo-Golovkin fight. Saunders can’t afford to stall out before making the fight against the Canelo vs. Golovkin winner, because sooner he’s going to get beaten by one of the World Boxing Organization’s top 15 contenders.
Saunders isn’t the type of talent to where he can defend his WBO successfully for years without him getting beaten. Saunders already was arguably beaten in his first defense of his WBO title against Artur Akavov in 2016, but the judges gave Saunders a controversial decision in a fight that took place in the UK.
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