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David Lemieux to challenge Billy Joe Saunders for middleweight belt on Dec. 16

Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network

David Lemieux is getting another crack at a middleweight title.

A deal has been struck to match the Canadian puncher against WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders on December 16 in Montreal, sources told RingTV.com. HBO will televise the 160-pound matchup from the Bell Centre.

Lemieux was installed as the WBO’s mandatory challenger, and a deal was quickly struck between Golden Boy Promotions and Frank Warren, Saunders’ promoter, to the fight in this year’s schedule. To accommodate the fight, Yvon Michel agreed to move the proposed light heavyweight title showdown between Adonis Stevenson and Eleider Alvarez.

Lemieux (38-3, 33 knockouts) formerly held the IBF title, but was stopped by Gennady Golovkin during the eighth round in October 2015. However, the 28-year-old has rebounded, most notably with a devastating knockout of Curtis Stevens in March.

Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) can’t match Lemieux’s power, but the Brit is the superior boxer and mover. The 28-year-old southpaw possesses a nice jab, which has led him to victories over foes like Andy Lee, Chris Eubank Jr., and most recently, Willie Monroe.

Saunders has impressed in his backyard, and now he’s ready for his North American debut, where he’ll leave the confines of home and compete in Lemieux’s hometown.

The winner stands in line to face either Daniel Jacobs, Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin in the near future.

All three men fight on HBO, with the latter two promoted by Golden Boy.

The middleweight division has been hot, and now it’s extending past Canelo and GGG.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger