Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Billy Joe Saunders-David Lemieux formally announced at Montreal press conference

Saunders (left) and Lemieux. Photo by Vincent Ethier / Eye of the Tiger Management

David Lemieux was always going to find it hard to out talk WBO middleweight titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, but there are a lot of experts who believe he can get the better of the precocious Englishman in a prize ring.

Saunders, who is rated No. 4 by THE RING at 160 pounds, defends for the third time against the Canadian power-puncher at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, on December 16.

The talented southpaw, who is unbeaten in 25 fights with 12 knockouts, has already bested top competition in Andy Lee and Chris Eubank Jr. and he is extremely confident that his skills will trump Lemieux’s harder hitting.

“This fight has good fight written all over it,” said Saunders before a throng of assembled media in Lemieux’s home city of Montreal. “There is a lot at stake. I’m going to be very aware because as you all know, boxing is a funny game. It can end very quickly with one punch. And it goes both ways. David is going to eat some and he’s going to beg me to finish him off.

“Styles make fights. It’s the classic matchup between the boxer and the puncher and I’m looking forward to it. I was born to fight and I’m going to prove it by unifying the belts as soon as I’m done with David.

“Lemieux shows a lot of heart when he comes to fight, but the truth is, I’m too slick and too good for him. I’m in boxing to win and defend my belt all over the world. Lemieux is my tester for the winner of Canelo and Golovkin.”

Lemieux, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING, won the vacant IBF middleweight title from Hassan N’Dam in June 2015 but was stopped in eight rounds by Golovkin four months later. He has won four fights in a row since that setback with two of those wins coming inside the distance.

“I think that you are in for a surprise. I will be at my best and take the title from you,” said Lemieux who has a record of (38-3, 33 KOs).

“If the fight demands me chasing you, I will chase you. If the fight demands me to go toe-to-toe, I will. On December 16, I promise that I won’t leave the Place Bell without the belt. I’m extremely excited. Let’s get it on!”

Information courtesy of a press release issued by Golden Boy Promotions

Saunders vs. Lemieux, a 12-round fight for Saunders’ WBO middleweight title, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management in association with Frank Warren Promotions. The event will take place December 16, at the Place Bell in Laval, Canada and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, October 28 at 12 p.m. at


Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


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