The term “this fighter is at a crossroads” is a little over used in boxing but for me this really is the best way to describe the fight for both boxers when Billy Joe Saunders will defend his WBO Middleweight title against David Lemieux this weekend in Canada . For the winner of this bout lies the potential big money fight against either GGG or Canelo , for the loser i can only see them going one way ……..down .
Billy Joe Saunders:
Billy Joe Saunders (or BJS) is a man who looks to have fell in love with boxing all over again after a very troubled couple of years . Years which has seen him struggle with his weight and motivation to fight and this nearly came back to haunt the World Champion when he very luckily got a gift decision Artur Akavov in Paisley , a fight in which we attended . That fight seemed to be the wake up call BJS needed since then he has teamed up with Dominic Ingle , moving himself away from bad influences of before and doing his camps up in Sheffield , which has got him into the best shape of his career . Billy has always been a very talented boxer who uses the full ring to his advantage and with his quick hands and slick movement it sees opponents get frustrated and make mistakes which he exploits . BJS is not is not renowned for his power which could be a factor here as Lemieux will not respect what’s coming back at him so Saunders will need to make sure he’s switched on from start to finish as Lemieux can hit hit like a donkey kicks . One thing that has always raised question about BJS so his gas tank which see’s him easier to pin down in the later round of the fight which is exactly what David Lemieux will be counting on , the result of this fight could come down to how BJS manages his gas tank so keep your eye peeled for that .
David Lemieux :
David Lemieux is a massive name in Canada and has the backing to prove that , with it being rumoured that BJS will be paid $3m for going to Canada . He is a massive name for good reason as Lemieux has fantastic power in his right hand , not to say his left is weak , far from it which makes his style very fan friendly . Lemieux is a come forward fighter but that might be his undoing as he is coming up against a skilled a boxer , a style which we have seen give him problems in the past as Lemieux has a very basic upright style which seems tailor made for BJS . After his KO loss to GGG David Lemieux has worked hard to get back in position for a title shot and with his home crowd behind him and being the more powerful of the two i think that would make him favourite with the bookies in this fight , but rushing in and swinging isn’t going to work for him , i hope Lemieux can mix it up a bit .
Although both these guys are the same age at 28 it seems that Lemieux does have more miles on the clock , pretty much due to BJS being inactive . This fight is really close to call as its a boxer against a puncher and in this case i think you have to pick Saunders but not by much . Lemieux is the bigger puncher and the more aggressive of the two but i do find his style so basic and BJS will be to elusive for him . That’s not to say this fight is a far gone conclusion , if Lemieux can trap BJS on the ropes Saunders could find himself in big trouble as Lemieux has real power . My pick is BJS to take it on the cards but I wouldn’t be surprised if Billy gets screwed on the cards also . Billy is going to have to make sure he wins this fight clearly.