Lemieux: I would have beaten Saunders if I’d been 100%
By Tim Royner: David Lemieux says he was injured during his loss to WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 10 days ago on December 16 in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) had a left hand injury, shoulder problem and blisters on his feet that slowed him up against Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) at the Place Bell.
Saunders won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 117-111, 118-110 and 120-108.
”You couldn’t get close to me over a shoulder injury 😂 ok get in right and I’ll let 1 of my sons take my place next time #sluggerVBoxer,” said Saunders on his social media site.
Saunders is not talking about wanting to give Lemieux a rematch, so you have to assume the two fighters will never face each other again. Lemieux will have to work his way back into position for another title shot against Saunders. It would likely need to be a mandatory title challenger once again for Lemieux to get another shot at Saunders’ WBO title, because he’s probably not going to be given a voluntary defense.
If Saunders does get his dream fight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin or Saul Canelo Alvarez, he’ll likely lose. The element of surprise will be gone for Saunders. He won’t be able to beat Golovkin or Canelo moving about the ring the way that he did with Lemieux, as they’ll be ready to negate that approach. If Saunders is going to beat GGG or Canelo, he’ll have to stand and fight it out with them, and he’s clearly beat those types of talents by fighting them. Saunders is too weak to beat guys like that in a real fight.
“If I had been 100%, yes, I would have beaten [Saunders],” said Lemieux to the Montreal Journal. “It’s sure that when you take your number 1 weapon in the ring against an opponent like Saunders, a guy you have to attack, it becomes difficult,” said Lemieux. ”At the same time, I do not want to say too much excuses or anything. Hats off to him!”
Lemieux showed his class in giving credit to Saunders. I’d like to thank that Saunders would have done the same thing to Lemieux if he had come up the loser. We’ll see in the future if Saunders will give credit to his opponent when he eventually tastes defeat. Will Saunders give them credit or will he complain and say he was robbed? If he loses by a knockout, he won’t be able to say he was robbed. but hopefully he gives his opponent credit.
We don’t really know what Lemieux could have done had he been 100 percent healthy for the Saunders fight, because that didn’t happen. If Lemieux had been healthy, and if he’d been expecting Saunders to fight the way he did by staying on the run for 12 rounds, then we’ve had a clearer picture of who would have won.
Saunders will be fighting in the first quarter of 2018. His promoter is looking for a contender to match Saunders up against. Former WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs has already offered to fight Saunders, but he seems to have been rejected by BJ. It’s going to look weird if Saunders winds up facing someone below Jacobs’ talent level in his next fight.