Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) outpointed hometown hero David Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) to retain the WBO Middleweight World Championship in the 12-round main event of HBO World Championship Boxing at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Saunders, a native of the United Kingdom, outboxed Lemieux for 12 rounds from his slick southpaw stance to win via unanimous decision 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.”
“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.”