WBO Middleweight Champ Billy Joe Saunders just finished giving a boxing lesson to Canadian tough guy David Lemieux. Dominating every second of every minute of every round against a challenger that many picked to beat the “Superb” one and many had in their top five middleweights. A division that is perhaps as loaded as any in the sport. Loaded with a diverse group of fighters who are from all over the world with all different styles.
After a disappointing 2106 in which Saunders fought just one time against lightly regarded Artur Akavov and took a unanimous decision and did not look overly impressive in doing so. Saunders issued an apology to the fans following the fight saying “I’d like to apologize to the fans especially those who have paid for it, it was a terrible performance. I’ve been out a year, a bit overweight. A few adjustments to camp. Just flat, really, really flat. I’ve called Gennady Golovkin out, but on that performance I want to be embarrassed.”
Since then Superb Saunders teamed up with Sheffield-based trainer Dominic Ingle after splitting with Adam Booth, after splitting with his original trainer Jimmy Tibbs last year. After the Akavov victory BJS realized that changes needed to be made and he has made them in spectacular fashion. Outclassing two top ten middleweights in Willy Monroe and Lemieux, barely losing a round to either fighter. In all honesty after the disappointment that was 2016, Saunders should be considered for 2017 fighter of the year. The performance he put on Saturday in front of Lemieux’s home crowd in Quebec was reminiscent of a left handed Floyd Mayweather performance. He embarrassed his opponent, showed they weren’t in the same league, that there are levels to this, and Saunders and Lemieux were levels apart. Superb’s footwork, his ability to keep distance and use his range, snap a ferocious jab in Lemieux’s face and landing counter power shots, in Saunders case the left hand with pin point accuracy. Lemieux became angered, frustrated, confused and somewhat embarrassed Just like Floyd did to his opponents.
Outclassing top tier opponents is not something new for Superb Saunders, prior to his disappointing 2016, BJS had put together victories over Gary O’sullivan who knocked out Antoine Douglas in impressive fashion on the under card in Quebec, he handed Chris Eubank Jr, who is now one of the favorites to win the supper middleweight WBSS tournament, his only loss. As well as Andy Lee. Saunders has been quietly putting together world class wins for the past four years all the while running his mouth and talking as much trash and insulting as many people as possible including calling Canelo Alvarez a ” Ginger P#$$y” so Superb hasn’t really been doing this under the radar.
Coming off the total destruction and outclassing of Lemieux combined with the fact that he holds the only middleweight belt not held by GGG, the Hertfordshire, England native should be on track for a mega fight and a huge payday right? Yea, but they aren’t going to fight him. They aren’t going to fight him, GGG said that fighting Saunders and unifying all of the Middleweight titles was a dream come true, Saunders agreed to fight GGG in Kazakhstan and all of GGG’s terms and Golovkin still managed to eek his way out of the fight. Canelo would never dream of taking this fight and Golden Boy would be wise to advice their Golden Ticket in avoiding the Brit. The flat footed Canelo was out boxed badly by not just the much smaller Mayweather but also by Erislandy Lara who had a decision taken away from him and gifted to Canelo. Canelo was also lucky to get the benefit of the doubt in a 50/50 fight with “No Doubt” Trout, in which many scored for Trout. Canelo succeeds with fighters who come at him, if you move and give him angels and different looks and don’t just move forward on him, you can beat Canelo. Golden Boy is aware of that and is not about to put their Golden egg in the ring with a master boxer with masterful footwork who is a naturally bigger southpaw. Jermall Charlo is with PBC and fights predominately on Showtime and more importantly is Golovkin’s mandatory of his WBC and he certainly wouldn’t risk that to fight Saunders. That leaves only Danny Jacobs , who wouldn’t duck Saunders, but you have to wonder if Jacobs’ new promoter Eddie Hearn, would put his high priced middleweight in the ring with Saunders as opposed to trying to make a fight with Canelo or a rematch with GGG, fighters he is far more athletic then. None of them would put in on the line for Saunders belt because they are aware of what the rest of the boxing world is waking up to. Billy Joe Saunders is the most underrated fighter on earth.