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Billy Joe Saunders, David Lemieux in talks for mandatory middleweight title fight

12
Oct

David Lemieux hoped to fight Miguel Cotto, but now, he’s perhaps receiving something even better.

The Canadian puncher won’t fight the Puerto Rican legend in his farewell bout, but he will earn a middleweight title shot after the WBO ordered Billy Joe Saunders to defend his belt against Lemieux. Frank Warren, who promoters Saunders, and Golden Boy Promotions, Lemieux’s co-promoter, are already in regular talks, the fighter’s co-promoter, Camille Estephan, told RingTV.com.

“I think we’re close,” Estephan said. “Maybe we can get a deal (done). We want David to fight in December, we’re not going to wait too long. If we feel we’re not going to get a deal, we want to go to purse bid right away.”

Estephan hopes the fight will take place sometime in December in Montreal, where Lemieux draws as a native son. Saunders (25-0, 12 knockouts) has yet to fight outside England, and hasn’t been active. He’s competed just twice since he won the title in a December 2015 bout against Andy Lee.

“With HBO interested, it’s possible (the fight doesn’t go to the U.K.). said Estephan. “This is our market here in North America. We want to be in the right time zone. The time zone is a major problem for us and HBO obviously.”

If the fight goes to England, that would mean HBO would have to televise the fight on tape delay or live in the afternoon, if it even picks up the right. That also means less money for everyone, with HBO paying less for such a fight.

Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) won a middleweight title with a decision (and four knockdowns) over Hassan N’Dam in June 2015. He immediately lost his title via stoppage to Gennady Golovkin, but has stayed active with two fights in 2016 and another two this year.

The 28-year-old’s March victory over Curtis Stevens remains a strong candidate for knockout of the year.

Saunders, though, presents a trickier challenge for Lemieux. The southpaw is a strong boxer who moves well, and owns a victory over Chris Eubank Jr. However, the 28-year-old Brit has faced weak opposition since lifting the title in a victory over Lee. His last outing was a boring decision victory over former GGG victim Willie Monroe in September.

“I think Saunders is a very good fighter, he can move, but he’s not going to be able to handle David Lemieux’s power,” Estephan predicted. “He’s look vulnerable on many occasions. But if that fight happens, David has to be at his best and we expect the best out of Saunders. With David’s power, a guy who has cracks in his armor is going to fall.”

If the fight doesn’t happen, Saunders would be stripped, so it’s simply a matter of where and when for Lemieux’s second crack at a title.

  • Dee Money

    Make it happen

    • Henry Rush

      Yes! I want to see D.Lem smoke that fraud.

      • bradman

        Me too. I love how Lemmy called Saunders a pussy on twitter.

        • philoe bedoe

          And Billie Joe called him short legs lol………

          • bradman

            I saw that. Cracked me up.

      • philoe bedoe

        Why exactly is he a fraud?……….

        • Will Arbuckle

          He has done Nothing since winning the belt. Can after can….

          • philoe bedoe

            He was out of the ring for twelve months before facing Akatatov, not a great fighter but a tune up and a first defense.
            Was willing to face GGG in Kazakhstan before he chose to fight Canelo.
            His mandatory Khurtsidze fell through so he fought Monroe, who was one of GGG’s best opponents.
            You act like he’s a long reigning belt holder with multiple defenses under his belt lol………….

          • ceylon mooney

            yea some of this is out of his control. i really wanted to see khurtsidze, and i want to ssee ggg go for the last belt, but, shit, lemieux is my favorite MW, so im excited for this.

        • stetee83

          Because he talks bullsh*t

          • philoe bedoe

            But he backs it up by repeatedly winning…………

  • philoe bedoe

    Billie Joe has too much skill for Lemeiux……….

    • ceylon mooney

      i agree, but he sucked last two fights

      • Henry Rush

        Saunders sucks. Period. Lem is going to beat the pulp out of that fool.

        • ceylon mooney

          david lemieux is my favorite MW, and i dont like saunders, so id luv to see an ass whuppin, but i dunno man–as bad as hes sucked lately, he did good against lee. but i dont see lemieux gettin gunshy after a knockdown or two tho.

          • philoe bedoe

            I’d rather see Billie Joe take on the likes of Golovkin or Canelo for a unification.
            Lemeiux had his chance and came up short against GGG and I can see the same with Canelo…………

          • ceylon mooney

            lemieux comin up short against saunders you mean?

          • philoe bedoe

            Lemieux lost to Golovkin.
            I can’t see him being any better in a rematch, which could happen if Lemeiux beats Saunders and Golovkin wants to unify.
            I’d rather see an unbeaten slick boxer like Billie Joe have his turn against Golovkin………

          • ceylon mooney

            ah. i htought you were talkin about the upcoming fight.

            yea. totally one sided. balllsy move tho first title defense he picks golovkin and is totally outclassed. that was the fight that sold me on golovkin. luv to see BJS-golovkin. even more i wanta see him face jermell charlo, whos #1 WBC right now.

          • philoe bedoe

            I’d like to see Charlo against at least another couple of contenders at 160 before putting him in with Golovkin.
            A win against an injured Heiland isn’t preparation for GGG………..

          • Charlie U.

            I think you mean Jermall but it’s obviously an easy mistake to make. Haha.

          • ceylon mooney

            dammit

    • D. Gambino

      I disagree PB. Saunders claim to fame was beating Eubank and even in that he was hanging on by a thread in the last two rounds. Lemieux is far sharper, skill wise, than Eubank.

      Saunders’ conditioning, or lack thereof, will always be a problem. It will be a problem against Lemieux because he would have to be on his bike the whole fight to keep away from Lemieux’s power. But eventually he’d wear down and get caught. If Eubank can hurt Saunders (and he did), Lemieux can hurt him.

      • Mauro Hermida

        Lemmy can end it with one shot. The version of Lemmy that fought Stevens I think KOs Saunders late. The version I saw in his last fight, could be very close.

        • philoe bedoe

          Billie Joe is to good defensively and has never been hurt or dropped in any of his fights.
          Just think this is a bad match up for Lemeiux………….

      • philoe bedoe

        I disagree, Eubank imo is a better all round boxer than Lemeiux who is still very crude.
        Andy Lee was on form when Billie Joe beat him who also as ko power and is a more well schooled boxer than Lemieux……….

        • left hook

          Lemieux doesnt even no how to dodge punches. I think Eubanks
          KOs Lemieux.

          • philoe bedoe

            I think so too…….

        • D. Gambino

          Eubanks is no defensive specialist either. He hasn’t improved that much from his loss to Saunders. Plus Eubanks’ best win is against a washed up Abraham and he needed ALL 12 rounds to get that win. Other than that he’s fought no one of note. So of course people would think he’s a “good boxer.” He’s looked good against sub-par competition.

          I do feel that Eubanks has a lot of potential and he could be a future star. But he needs quality opposition to prove he’s legit. As of right now he’s no better than Lemieux. I’ll give you 50/50 but Eubanks isn’t better than Lemieux.

          IMO – the Lemieux that lost to Golovkin beats every version of Eubanks we’ve seen thus far.

        • ceylon mooney

          his win over lee was a damn good win. not 12 rounds of excitement thats for sure, but a solid win.

      • left hook

        Lemieux is a straight up, no defence, no special effects fighter. Why will u think his better than Eubanks.

        • D. Gambino

          Eubanks is no defensive specialist either. He hasn’t improved that much from his lose to Saunders. Plus Eubanks best win is against a washed up Abraham and he needed ALL 12 rounds to get that win. Other than that he’s fought no one of note. So of course people would think he’s a “good boxer.” He’s looked good against sub-par competition.

          I do feel that Eubanks has a lot of potential and he could be a future star. But he needs quality opposition to prove he’s legit. As of right now he’s no better than Lemieux. I’ll give you 50/50 but Eubanks isn’t better than Lemieux.

          IMO – the Lemieux that lost to Golovkin beats every version of Eubanks we’ve seen thus far.

          • left hook

            Eubanks is better than Lemieux skill wise. Eubanks has defense. He avoids punches, moves relatively well and can box on the back foot.
            I don’t accept Abrahams is washed up, cuz he was ranked in the top ten when Eubanks fought him but i do agree Eubanks needs to step up, which he will do in his next fight.
            Lemieux best win is the French guy, and he was getting outboxed at times in that fight. He does have power I’ll give him that.

    • Mauro Hermida

      I hope Lemmy goes after that soft body. If Lemmy is able to walk through him, its going to be a long night. Saunders will have to stink out the joint in this one. I hope Lemmy doesn’t have too much trouble making weight. Its been tough for a while from what I have heard.

      • philoe bedoe

        Billie Joe will have a lot more opportunity to land punches on David than he did Monroe, so I can see it being a more interesting fight.
        And if Lemieux as stamina issues it won’t help him as this would be his opportunity to nail Billie Joe late, who also tends to slow down as the fight progresses……….

    • left hook

      Nothing special about Lemieux. BJS will out boxing him.

      • philoe bedoe

        Yes I think so too……..

      • ceylon mooney

        i think ge can. not so sure he will.

  • ceylon mooney

    hell yes. good fught. i hope lemmy mugs him. BUT BJS dropped lee (twice?). hes got a well rounded tool box.

    cotto was NEVER gonna face Lemieux. cmon. dudes been recruiting opponents outside the top 15 (ex-contenders peterson, kamegai, etc) at 147, and we were supposed to pretend hes out to take lemieux? man. folks gave floyd hell–rightfully so–for goin out on berto. this is SO lame.

    lemieux-saunders man thisnisnsome more of the real shit 2017.

    • Koninbeor

      Cotto turned into a diva years ago. He used to be one of my favorite fighters. Don’t know what happened.

      • Mauro Hermida

        How many farewell types is he going to take on? I understand he couldn’t get beltholders at 154 for his last fight, but why is he so in a hurry to do this? Trying to get 147 pounders in the ring is bs to me and those guys wont fight him because they don’t want to come up in weight. Its understandable not to want to be at a disadvantage. That would be my guess.

        • Koninbeor

          Supposedly, this is the last one. We’ll see.

        • Will Arbuckle

          Why not perhaps a top 8……if you are done and it’s your last fight take a challenge on. Even to get a title shot coming off a loss 1,5 years ago is ridiculous. Sanctioning bodies are corrupt jokes

    • Arjay Cee

      BJS would have had the edge as recently as 2015, but since the nice Lee win he’s been a shambles. His overly cautious job with Monroe Jr. revealed a guy now hesitant to pull the trigger.

      And worse still, the Willie who showed up that night looked frazzled. At least he had a reason: dude probably feared BJS sending that gremlin of a son into the ring with a hatchet!

      • ceylon mooney

        HAHAHA! i skipped the match but watched the weigh in.

  • Stephen M

    Word is that they would hold this fight at a brand new venue literally ten minutes from my place. Fingers crossed.

    • ceylon mooney

      hell hea man thats cool

  • PrinceGian

    Lemieux KO8 Saunders

    • Darren James Smith

      Lemieux KO1 Saunders, hopefully.

  • jebib

    These are the type of matchups I particularly enjoy. I think neither is a prohibitive favorite and both are legitimate contenders. While neither may be superstars if it is fight where the result is in doubt till the end of the fight, what more can you ask?

    • ceylon mooney

      hear hear

  • Floridastorm

    BJS is going to find out what it’s like to be in with a real tough guy who hits like a Mule kicks. Doubtful he lasts past 5 or 6.

    • ceylon mooney

      lee hits hard, and BLJ not only outboxed him but put him down (twice was it?) lemieuxs movement has been gettin better. im SO lookin foreward to this fight.

      • Floridastorm

        Lee got knocked out by Brian Vera and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Lee was at the end of his career when Saunders fought him. Never had a great chin anyway.

        • ceylon mooney

          yea, i guess not

  • Cousin Strawberry ( Cheech)

    Lemmy will be pressuring Blow Job all night..Lemmy by late KO or a split D. Hope it happens.

  • william ellis

    Saunders handled Andy Lee quite well: he could outbox Lemieux. I’m cheering for Lemieux though: he is ready to fight anyone, anytime – he paid for that attitude with GGG, but you have to admire his willingness. And he is good.

    • ceylon mooney

      agree, BUT…saunders looked crappy 2 fights ago and looked just ok his last fight.

      im with you on lemieux. golovkin for his first title defense/unification…damn son you the real shit.

      his movement looks like it improved. he may be harder to hit than when he faced golovkin.

      cant pick a winner, but im rooting for lemieux.

  • Mike M.

    Billy Joe has got to be the luckiest Middleweight since Felix Sturm. I swear I never thought he’d hold on to his title for as long as he has fighting Golovkins old opponents, and tomato cans in between. This isn’t a bad fight on paper but still, no one recognizes him as a “real” champion. I wish we could vote to have his title stripped and put up for grabs. Now that would be progressive af!!