WBO middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders has vowed to put David Lemieux ‘out like a candle’ when the bitter rivals square off at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec this weekend. Saunders will be fighting overseas for the first time in his professional career when he makes the third defense of his crown against the hard-hitting Lemieux in his own backyard, and is unfazed by fighting in hostile territory.
“I’m a fighting man, a gypsy warrior, and I’ll travel anywhere on the planet to defend my World Title,” said Saunders. “I’m heading into the lion’s den this weekend, Lemieux will have the whole arena behind him but that won’t make one ounce of a difference, I’ll thrive off their hate for me. Once that bell goes it’s just me and him stood in that ring, he’s in for one hell of a tough night.
“I know I will have 13,000 or 14,000 people against me on Saturday night but I can perform under that kind of pressure. I’ve boxed since I was 16 all over the World, that was as an amateur but you still get that same fear factor, winning or losing, and traveling away to fights.”
Former Middleweight titleholder Lemieux has promised to ‘do everyone a favor’ by ‘getting rid’ of Saunders. The Montreal native boasts 33 big knockouts from 38 career wins and is eager to ‘do damage’ to Saunders, telling journalists at Tuesday’s media workout that the champion will ‘hit the floor’.
Saunders is in a typically confident mood heading into Saturday’s showdown, even promising Lemieux his entire fight purse if the Canadian manages to knock him out.
“Lemieux shows a lot of heart when he comes to fight but the real truth is, I’m too slick and too good for him. People bang on about him being this monster puncher but you can’t hit what you can’t see – we’re going to play a game of eat the jab and then I’m going to put him out like a candle! I’m in this game to take on the best and once I’ve wiped out ‘little legs’ I’m coming for Canelo and Golovkin.”