Billy Joe Saunders dominates David Lemieux to retain WBO belt

December 17, 2017

Photo Credit: Matt Heasley-Hogansphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

With a beautiful display of slick boxing, southpaw Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) outpointed and neutralized David Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) in his opponent's hometown to retain the WBO Middleweight World Championship in the 12-round main event in Quebec, Canada.

Saunders, a native of the United Kingdom, earned a unanimous decision victory with scores of 120-108, 117-111, and 118-110.

"I knew what sort of fighter David Lemieux is, and I knew what sort of coach he's got," said Saunders. "I knew what he was coming for. I look easy to hurt, but you can't hit me. I like going to somebody's backyard because I perform better. I'm a whole different animal now. When I hurt David, I wanted to put it on him. I really did, but that's what I pay my trainer Dominic Ingle to do. I went to put it on him, but he told me to take my time, and that was the best advice."

The fight wasn't competitive for the most part, as Saunders' superior lateral movement, quick hands, and athleticism set the tone from the first bell.

Lemieux hinted that he might have sustained some type of injury early in the fight.

"I wasn't at my best. Hats off to Billy Joe [Saunders]," said Lemieux. "From the second round on, I could not use my left hand the way I wanted, and he was on the run, so I had a hard time throwing my shots. It wasn't my best night. A lot of this was because of me, because I couldn't use my left hand the way I wanted to. He was running from the first round to the end, and I guess that's his strategy to win. If this is the way you want to win, then congratulations."

In an exciting undercard bout, Irish middleweight Gary O'Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) stopped Antoine Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KOs) of Virginia in the seventh round of a slugfest that was scheduled for 10 rounds.

"I was sick for 2 weeks with a chest infection, so I was not at 100 percent," said O'Sullivan. "I thought it was a good opportunity, so I decided to fight anyway. I'm happy with my performance, but I could have done better. Douglas is a tough guy with a good chin, and he had never been knocked out like that."

Douglas scored an early lead with a hard jab and hooks to the body, but O'Sullivan eventually wore him down with an incessant amount of pressure, featuring left hooks and right hands from a high guard. Douglas was taken to the hospital immediately after the fight.

In another undercard matchup, Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-1, 9 KOs) scored a wide unanimous decision victory against Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin (21-1, 17 KOs) in a ten-round super lightweight fight.

Ulysse proved to be the more skilled and refined fighter, as he scored a knockdown in each of the first three rounds, and then followed that explosive opening with a boxing lesson for the next seven rounds. All judges scored the fight 99-88 in favor of Ulysse.

"I was the underdog," said Ulysse. "Everyone thought that I was in for a beating, and look at what happened. I told you that my moment was coming. Speed kills! The sky is the limit!"

By Staff of and news services

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