P. J. Go | Fri 15/12/2017 - 06:53 EST

Billy Joe Saunders vs David Lemieux: Odds, Prediction

Billy Joe Saunders vs David Lemieux: Odds, Prediction

Saunders vs Lemieux Fight Card

Odds courtesy of SportsInteraction.

With the Canelo-Golovkin rematch close to official next year, there now leaves a spot at middleweight (160) for the next contender and it's highly possible the winner of this bout gets next crack at the winner. Saunders (25-0) will be defending his middleweight title on enemy soil against  the heavy-handed Lemieux (38-3) and he's ben bet up to a slight underdog at +101. 

Lemieux (-126) is no doubt the Canadians' choice in this spot but it isn't just national bias. The pugilist has slowly improved his game and is far from being the one-dimensional power puncher he started out as. His main losses have come only against the division's best like a far more experienced Marco Antonio Rubio and pound-for-pound monster Gennady Golovkin. He can get a second crack at "GGG" if he wins this bout.

Saunders is unbeaten and a better technician than Lemieux but the Canadian is more exciting and has the power to threaten any boxer in the division. To the winner goes the fight of a lifetime.

David Lemieux

Lemieux might be Canada's best boxing export since the departed Arturo Gatti. The French-Canadian quickly burst into the boxing world when he got hyped at such a young age.

Lemieux engineered 24 knockouts in his first 25 fights with 22 of them coming within two rounds. But he bit off more than he can chew when he lost to the likes of Rubio and Golovkin who were clearly better boxers than he at the time. 

At 28, Lemieux feels like he's either an old prospect or a young contender. Since his loss to Golovkin, he's rattled off four straight victories including a knockout of the year contender against Curtis Stevens. His loss to Golovkin is his only defeat in five years too. Lemieux can get himself back to challenging a top division opponent like Daniel Jacobs or Demetrius Andrade with a win over Saunders.

Billy Joe Saunders

At the same age as Lemieux, Saunders has only 25 pro bouts to his name and has taken far less damage than the brawling Canuck. The WBO middleweight champion has quietly albeit notoriously been making a name for himself in the division most recently calling out Golovkin.

Saunders is a craftsman and his 12 KO victories doesn't jump out of the page but he's beaten better level of competition than Lemieux although he didn't do so convincingly.

He barely beat former champion Andy Lee. He was a -6000 favourite over largely unknown Artur Akavov and struggled. The most memorable part of his bout with the fading Willie Monroe Jr. was his kid punching him in the nutsack during the weigh-ins.

If Saunders wants the big fight, he's got long ways to go to convince anyone he's a true threat.

Fight Breakdown

It's a gross oversimplification to dub this a "technique vs power" matchup but that might be what it comes down to. Saunders is colourful off the ring but inside he's all business. He has a tendency to "fight not to lose" as he showed against Lee and was a cut above the likes of Akavov and Monroe Jr. but took his time and fought them following the gameplan.

Saunders will be aware of Lemieux's power and most boxers at his skill level have already shown the blueprint of defeating the Canadian. Saunders even tossed a bet with Lemieux that if he somehow got knocked out, he'd offer him his own purse. The Englishman is challenging Lemieux to go for that kill-shot and he will be ready for it.

Lemieux will be dangerous in the early rounds but he needs to control his aggression and pick his spots. If he goes head-hunting, it's a one-way ticket to a decision loss. 

Saunders is a solid bet here, especially at an underdog price. He is the better boxer and should win this fight barring Lemieux catches him clean and puts his lights out. Despite his notorious punching power, landing that knockout punch has been a challenge for Lemieux against top-ranked boxers and if he tries to outbox Saunders, he'll find himself outmatched.

For Canadian fans, it's best to sit this one out if you're siding with the hometown boy but Saunders backers can sit and wait as the Canadians steam Lemieux and raise Saunders' line even further. 

Boxing is huge for Canada and a big matchup like this on home soil is a rarity these days. Online sportsbooks open to Canadians all offer boxing lines with their own signup bonuses. Check each book to see which are tailored to your boxing needs.

Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux Card (HBO, 9:40 PM ET)

  • Middleweight championship: Billy Joe Saunders (+101) vs David Lemieux (-126) 
  • Middleweight: Antoine Douglas vs Gary O'Sullivan
  • Super lightweight: Cletus Seldin vs Yves Ulysse Jr
  • Welterweight: Custio Claytin vs Cristian Rafael Coria
  • Super lightweight: Batyrzhan Jukembayev vs Wilberth Lopez
  • Super welterweight: Steven Butler vs Lanardo Tyner
  • Super flyweight: Nicola Adams vs Soledad Macedo 

Category : MLB

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