Lemieux: It’s going to be dangerous for Saunders’ health
By Scott Gilfoid: This Saturday night, former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) says it’s going to be dangerous for WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders’ health when the two of them meet at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Lemieux wants to hurt the trash-talking Saunders and get rid of him.
(Photo credit: Vincent Ethier/EOTTM)
Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) has fully angered the knockout artist Lemieux to the point where he’s vowing to hurt him when they get inside the ring. Lemieux says he wants to knockout Saunders, and take his purse from him. Saunders said he’s willing to give Lemieux his fight purse if he loses. Lemieux, 28, says he’s going to take him at his word. He expects to go home with a lot of money after he beats Saunders on Saturday night.
HBO World Championship Boxing will be televising the Saunders vs. Lemieux fight this Saturday night in the U.S.
“We’re prepared for a good fight, 12 rounds if it has to go the distance,” said Lemieux. “I’m going to be so powerful in there. It’s going to be dangerous for his health,” said Lemieux to HBO in giving a warning to Saunders.
Saunders will need to be hyper alert inside the ring at all times against Lemieux if he doesn’t wind up getting knocked out by him. Lemieux has the type of punching power that enables him to hurt anybody if they stand in front of him and out in the line of fire. Lemieux recently knocked Curtis Stevens out with a booming left hook earlier this year. If Lemieux lands that same punch on the chin of Saunders, it’s hard to imagine him taking it without dropping for the 10 count. Even if Saunders does stay on his feet under the pounding from Lemieux, it’ll be difficult to win a decision against him. This isn’t an amateur fight. If Lemieux is landing the cleaner shots in each round, the judges will have no choice but to give him the nod when it comes to the decision.
Saunders does not have the same kind of power that Lemieux possesses. Saunders is more of a Willie Monroe Jr. type of puncher, but with less power and a weaker jab. Lemieux is not likely going to be bothered by Saunders’ lighter punches. It’s going to take a lot of accumulated damage by Saunders for him to get Lemieux out of there, and I don’t think he’s going to be able to land all those punches without risking getting knocked out.
“He’s never fought with a fighter like me,” said Lemieux in talking about his fight on Saturday night against 28-year-old Billy Joe Saunders. “I have a great game plan. I have got good training for a fight like this. To me, he’s not going to be a problem. We’ve already did all the work we needed to do in the gym. He’s a skillful fighter, but I possess much higher abilities than he does and I’ll show that on Saturday.
The game plan by Lemieux will likely see him cutting off the ring and looking to pressure Saunders at all times. That’s how Gennady Golovkin would fight Saunders. Golovkin wouldn’t try and box with Saunders, as that would be playing to his strengths. The style that works against Saunders is the pressure style that we saw from Andy Lee in his fight with him in 2015. Lee wasn’t effective early on because he’s a slow starter with a fragile chin. But once Lee got warmed up after round 4, he completely dominated Saunders in the last 7 rounds. If Lee had a good chin, he would have won a lopsided decision, as Saunders did very little in the fight other than having a good 3rd round. If you take away round 3, Saunders would have lost a lopsided decision to Lee.
“It’s been going on in Twitter, all the time, talking down to me, saying all types of stuff,” said Lemieux about the incessant trash talking Saunders has been doing since the fight was signed. “The talk is done now. The time is to walk the walk. I just hope he puts up what he said in the ring as much as he said with his mouth. He said if I knock him out, he’s going to give me his purse. Remember that, guys. He said he’s going to give me his purse. So, I’m expecting a big payday on fight night,” said Lemieux.
Saunders isn’t going to stand and fight with Lemieux on Saturday. You can forget about that notion altogether. Saunders isn’t crazy. He’s been talking a lot of trash, yes, but that’s all stuff just to try and upset Lemieux to gain an edge. Saunders thinks he can upset Lemieux enough to where he’ll be afraid of him or so angry that he won’t fight smart. I think it’s going to work against Saunders. Lemieux fights better when he’s angry with his opponents. Saunders has unknowingly woken a sleeping bear by upsetting Lemieux by calling him “frog” and “short legs.” Lemieux didn’t get in the gutter with Saunders to comment on his weight problems or his older appearance for someone only 28. Lemieux has kept his focus on what he’s going to do inside the ring on December 16.
“It’s the ideal thing for me,” said Lemieux about him being angry with Saunders for him mouthing off so much. “It wakes me up and puts me in a different mood, when I don’t like my opponent than when I do. So, it’s a big disadvantage for him, and a big advantage for me,” said Lemieux.
Lemieux is saying it’s going to be a disadvantage for Saunders now that he’s got him riled up. I believe Lemieux. I think it’s going to be a bad problem for Saunders when he gets inside the ring with the angry Lemieux. Saunders’ boxing fans believe that he’ll be able to make Lemieux miss all night long. I don’t agree with that. Saunders doesn’t possess the kind of defense and footwork that will enable him to keep from getting hit by Lemieux. I suspect that Lemieux will land at least 10 hard punches in each round. Those shots will be more than enough for Lemieux will win each round. It doesn’t matter if Lemieux fails to get a knockout. He’ll wind up beating Saunders by a decision, and take his WBO middleweight title.
A victory for Lemieux over Saunders will put him in line to face the winner of the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight on May 5. Lemieux will likely get a career high payday against the winner of that fight. Canelo vs. Lemieux would be a huge fight on HBO PPV in 2018. Either way, Lemieux is going to get a big payday in 2018 against one of those 2 fighters if he beats Saunders on Saturday night.