On Saturday, December 16, 2017, Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) defends his WBO Middleweight title against hard-hitting former champion, David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec.
There has been a ton of hostility in the air leading up to the fight as Saunders has gotten under Lemieux’s skin with his antics and Lemieux has promised to do his best to get rid of Saunders for everyone.
Who will prevail?
Tune in to HBO at 9:40 pm, EST/PST to catch the Middleweight matchup.
Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux and let us know who you think will win.
Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions – 2017
|Name||Win||Loss||Total Fights||Win Percentage|
Billy Joe Saunders
Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer
Firstly, Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux is a very good fight to end the year, and the winner would surely be on course to fight the victor of Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II. As for the fight, I am picking Saunders by decision, providing nothing fishy happens. Saunders has often been regarded as a title holder rather than a champion, due to not fighting top opposition since taking the title from Andy Lee in December 2015.
However, after injuries, postponements and trainer changes, the WBO champion seems to have stability now, and has publicly stated his desire to be involved in big fights. Much to our delight, the WBO enforced a mandatory defense against David Lemieux, which means he gets to prove his worth to the American audience on Saturday.
I feel Saunders is far too slick and elusive for Lemieux, who, if he cannot get somebody out early, can seem one-dimensional and limited. Moreover, we have seen what a solid jab can do to a fighter like Lemieux, as evidenced in the Golovkin fight. Saunders by no means has power like Golovkin, but he does possess a good jab, and in my opinion, he has the speed advantage.
Therefore, by being on the back foot and using his boxing fundamentals, Saunders can stop Lemieux in his tracks–as the last thing he wants to do is make the fight an inside fight. However, Saunders can throw his own sneaky hooks from close range, which is useful if he finds himself in a skirmish. It will be worrying if his power isn’t respected by Lemieux, but I still lean towards Saunders in this fight. I see him winning by decision, though the fight will be competitive at stages.
Amber Williams, Photographer
Mike Burnell, Staff Writer
This weekend’s dust up between heavy-handed David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) and undefeated WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) should be very entertaining to watch and the last significant one this year.
The fight will take place in Lemieux’s homeland of Canada and the southpaw Saunders will certainly be playing the part of heel as he attempts the third defense of the title he won against Andy Lee almost exactly two years prior.
The trash talk has been flying fast and furiously and the bad blood appears to be sincere. It should be noted that Saunders’ son hasn’t punched daddy’s opponent in the balls yet, however extra security at the weigh in should be expected.
On fight night, Saunders will box intelligently and periodically set his feet to rip combinations in an attempt to gain the respect of the murder-minded Lemieux.
Lemieux will move forward behind a jab and obligatory right hands to press Saunders either against the ropes or in a corner where he can launch his nuclear left hook.
The fight will be one with a pattern that won’t change much throughout.
With the fight even going in to Round 10 an overconfident Saunders will be slowing down and gets careless. Lemieux will finally land his crushing hook flush and on the sweet spot, ending the fight in dramatic fashion.
Ty Paul, Staff Writer
David Lemieux seems hungry. I’m very interested to see how he looks at the weigh-in. We know he’s had trouble in the past making 160, but opportunities for a world title in front of your home town fans only come so often.
Billy Joe Saunders is going to try to box Lemieux. I don’t think he can hurt the French-Canadian, but will try to plot ring generalship. Lemieux has to take the fight to Saunders and make the bigger man retreat.
In the end, I think Lemieux hurts Saunders late and recaptures his second world title by a late rounds stoppage.
Andrew Kang, Staff Writer
The minor league Middleweight title fight will not be short of excitement. I believe both Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux have firmly established themselves among the top five 160 pounders in the world, behind Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs.
Now, we’ll see who is better of the two.
Lemieux is a dangerous puncher and can certainly win this fight, but unless he catches him clean and in the early rounds, I see the faster, busier Saunders out working him and winning comfortably in the later rounds by stoppage.
Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief
Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux is a solid fight and a great way to cap off a ridiculously good 2017. Actually, David Lemieux vs. anyone is a fun fight and this one won’t be any different. The hard-hitting Middleweight goes for the kill and mixes in decent boxing ability as well.
The problem is, Billy Joe Saunders is a significant notch above Lemieux in terms of boxing, movement and ring IQ–think about how Lemieux got outboxed during stretches by Hassan N’Dam, even though he scored 39485 knockdowns in that fight.
Lemieux, if he doesn’t connect with something significant early, might find himself aimlessly following Saunders around. Saunders has the ability to dictate the fight with his jab and angles and that should be the difference.
Given Lemieux’s dangerous power I wouldn’t be surprised if he sent Saunders flying out of the ring courtesy of a big right hand, but all in all I think Saunders earns a decision by being the smarter boxer.
Bring on GGG.
All photos by Vincent Ethier/EOTTM