This is a boxing fight preview, prediction and match odds for Billy Joe Saunders vs David Lemieux .
Middleweight mayhem this weekend folks, and there could be a changing of the guard in Canada. That’s one strong possibility for when Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO crown against durable opponent David Lemieux at The Palace Bell in Quebec. Another likely outcome is that Billy Joe returns to form after a professional lull and matches the heavy hitting Lemieux every step of the way to carve out a win. One thing’s for sure, we are going to see the travelling Saunders being put through his paces and there will be blood.
British born Saunders has been off the radar since overcoming a 12-round victory against Willie Monroe Junior. The highlight of that match-up – many will agree – was the son of the champion clipping Monroe below the belt in the pre-fight weigh-in. Other than that moment of controversy, there was little excitement to speak of. Playing it safe is one worry that Saunders will have to contend with when he faces a sterner opponent in Lemieux. The Canadian will be ready to stand toe to toe and prove he is bar far the superior boxer. His time is now.
Lemieux hasn’t fully emerged as a household name, not on a world stage. Many critics believe he has the physical strength to shine through against a predictable and one-dimensional figure in Saunders. They say the combination of head and body punches will cause Saunders to quit or be saved by the referee. If this is to be believed, the bullish Brit will struggle to settle into his usual rhythm of drawing out a fight to the scorecards whilst putting fans to sleep. Maybe this is the wake-up call.
Billy Joe Saunders Form and Fight Record
At 25-0 Saunders looks pristine on paper, a faultless record with plenty of big names in his rear-view mirror. All five of his recent fights have resulted in a win on points suggesting his reputation as a top contender in the middleweight division is valid. Looking a little deeper, many of those wins could have been stopped before the 12 rounds if he were as sharp and keen as in his younger days. Going on his current form, one may argue that fights with the likes of Eubank Jnr would have read differently. Sanders has the power and mindset of a champion, which we hope to see much of this weekend.
Last Five Fights
Win via unanimous decision – Willie Monroe Jnr
Win via unanimous decision – Artur Akavov
Win via unanimous decision – Andy Lee
Win via TKO/KO – Yoann Bloyer
Win via split decision – Chris Eubank Jnr
Watch highlights of Billy Joe Saunders against Willie Monroe Jnr
David Lemieux Form and Fight Record
It’s been a long time since Lemieux tasted defeat, which came at the hands of current pound-for-pound contender GGG. But since he is just one of many high profile fighters to fall to the champ, that outcome doesn’t play into recent form. Lemieux has been on a four-fight win streak, including a scary third-round knockout of longtime contender Curtis Stevens in March, as well as Glen Tapia. The Canadian has also gone the distance with seasoned pros Marco Reyes and Cristian Fabian Rios.
Last Five Fights
Win via unanimous decision – Marcos Reyes
Win via TKO/KO – Curtis Stevens
Win via unanimous decision –Cristian Fabian Rios
Win via TKO/KO – Glen Tapia
Loss via TKO/KO – Gennady Golovkin
Watch highlights of David Lemieux vs Marcos Reyes
Boxing Betting Odds
Here is a round-up of the popular markets according to leading global betting operators. Odds are displayed in fractions.
Billie Joe Saunders to win – 10/11 l Skybet
David Lemieux to win – 10/11 l Skybet
Billy Joe Saunders to win via Decision or Technical Decision – 11/8 l Bet365
David Lemieux to win via KO TKO or Disqualification – 7/4 l Ladbrokes
Our Tips and Prediction
Lemieux was always the mandatory challenger for Saunders, but you would imagine that fight takes place on British shores. Having to travel across the pond to fight the Canadian in his back yard is a recipe for trouble. Overwhelming support for Lemieux coupled with his aggressive boxing nature is going to be a nightmare for any opponent.
On his day Billie Joe Saunders is one of the best middleweights in the world. Sadly, we haven’t seen him in that form for some time, whereas Lemieux is shaping up to be the slugger of the division that will test any fighter. If this fight was to take place two years ago, Saunders would have it in the bag.
Billy Joe Saunders needs the a career defining performance to stop his challenger, although we doubt he will have the stamina in Quebec – hence why we’re betting on the contender David Lemieux to win via TKO/KO.