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18 NOVEMBER 2018

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Billy Joe Saunders Outclasses Lemieux In Canada

pic Hogan photos
pic Hogan photos

By Steven Bateson


Billy Joe Saunders put on a masterclass to retain his WBO Middleweight Championship, outboxing David Lemieux over twelve rounds in Quebec, Canada on Saturday night.


It was seen as Saunders’ most difficult challenge to date but in reality he made the big-hitting Lemieux look desperately amateurish at times as he cantered to a sensationally one sided unanimous decision on enemy territory, sending out a message to the rest of the Middleweight division that he is indeed ready for anyone at 160lbs.


Saunders promised to "school" his Canadian opponent and that is exactly what he did, outclassing Lemieux from start to finish to earn his most impressive career victory. There was no danger signs, not even the remotest of clean punches landed from Lemieux in the entire fight as he was forced to chase shadows from the first bell to the last.


Lemieux started the fight in the same vain as always and attempted to ram raid and destroy Saunders but he could not pin down the Brit at any time, Saunders using his jab effectively before bobbing out of range again and out of the danger zone. A left hook from Saunders at the end of round two caught Lemiuex’s attention but the challenger could not answer back with anything of his own, he was already cutting a forlorn figure.


Saunders was showboating through round three as he enjoyed the disgruntlement of Lemieux’s fans before teeing off with effective one-two combinations, once again disengaging and evading straight after getting off his own shots. A left uppercut and a right hand around the guard in round four stunned Lemieux again but once more he had no answers, no way of firing back against an opponent’s whose footwork was just too sublime.


The jab was reddening Lemieux’s face through midway and then a left-right combination in round seven had him staggering into the ropes. The crowd sensed the danger as a Saunders’ left then busted up the nose and mouth of the challenger, further cementing the domination that was being witnessed.


It was an exhibition and total control from Saunders, erasing any doubt beforehand that he could hang tough at his level, and even though Lemieux continued to chase him ,in reality, he was hitting nothing but fresh air as frustration turned to desperation and then in turn to hopelessness.


The crowd got mildly excited by two late punches in round eleven from Lemieux but they made no dent in Saunders, a complete lack of energy in the challenger made his shots practically redundant, and by the final round he was back to playing catch up. Saunders danced his way to victory whilst Lemieux made his way back to corner, bruised and bloody but his ego will have been dented much more than his face.


Billy Joe Saunders puts himself on the Middleweight map with this victory, utterly bamboozling a foe they claimed was at least an equal if not a a favourite with some bookmakers. He deserves the big fights now and will be in line to square off against either Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin sometime in 2018.


Scorecards read: 120-108, 117-111, 118-110


O’Sullivan stuns Douglas


Gary "Spike" O’Sullivan upset the odds as he knocked out Antoine Douglas in seven rounds to win the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship in what was a highly entertaining fight. Douglas started the fight brightly and was using his range advantage and speed to nip in and out of exchanges, jabbing to the body of O’Sullivan and teeing off to the head of his opponent as he marched forward although O’Sullivan was always there in his face and landing blows of his own. O’Sullivan was relentless in his approach and although he lost the first three rounds it was clear that he was closing the gap on Douglas and landed a few more warning shots to his younger foe. In round four O’Sullivan was beginning to find more success with his right hand and it was clear that Douglas’ movement was slowing quite dramatically, opting instead to stand within punching distance of Spike and try his chances in the trade-offs. The frequency and impact of O’Sullivan’s right hand was increasing through rounds five and six to the degree where Douglas’ breathing was now very noticeable, no longer was he quicker or able to dance in out of the range, and the change in each corner’s outlook was obvious. O’Sullivan went looking for his younger American opponent in round seven and a heavy barrage of punches on the ropes sent Douglas to the deck, caught up in the ropes as he fell under serious duress. Douglas should have been waved off there but the referee allowed him to stand, meaningless really as the glazed over look in Douglas’ eyes was enough to prove he had no right in continuing. Cork’s O’Sullivan is heavy handed and fan friendly, expect to see him in another big fight in spring 2018.


Ulysses exposes Seldin


Yves Ulysse Jnr took the undefeated record of Cletus Seldin during a one sided beatdown, Seldin hitting the canvass three times in the first three rounds on the way to a wide unanimous decision. Seldin, who had 17 KO’s from 21 unbeaten, was heavily fancied due to his heavy hands but he had no answer for the handspeed, footwork and precision punching of the hometown Ulysse. Seldin was rocked in one and then squared up his feet, throwing caution to wind, and chose to trade with Ulysse before succumbing to a big right hand and left hook cross. Round two saw the New Yorker on the deck again after Ulysse nailed a left jab, right hook off the ropes and he was then punched around the ring for the remainder of the three minutes as he looked in danger of being taken out. Seldin’s tactic was clear, seek and destroy, but he was telegraphing every single move and put on the canvass once more in round three as Ulysse abandoned his counter punching style to go hunting for his opponent. Cletus Seldin was exposed here by his inability to deal with a moving target, the effort and desire to catch his opponent was there but against Ulysse he was not facing a static foe and therefore could not make use of his best, and only, weapon. As the fight progressed Seldin complained to the referee and made his frustration known that Ulysse would not indulge him in a firefight but in reality all he did was highlight his and his team’s lack of plan b in the face of adversity. Ulysse, who coasted rounds four through seven, decided to put his foot back on the gas in rounds eight and nine and could not miss with his right hand, time and again he bounced it off the skull of Seldin. The final round was arguably the most one sided of all as Ulysse turned up the heat and entertained his home fans with a constant shellacking of Seldin, who in fairness showed immense bravery. Seldin will be in entertaining fights so long as his opponent meets him in the pocket for a brawl but otherwise he will always be in danger against any kind of foe that moves in and out of range. Ulysse moves to 15-1 as a professional and will be a hard night’s work for anyone between 140-147lbs.

Scorecards read: 99-88 x3


Undercard roundup:


Highly rated Ryan Garcia successfully defended his NABF Super Featherweight Championship by taking out Noe Martinez Raygoza in the eighth and final round. Martinez took a knee after eating a solid uppercut and then a flurry from the Californian. Although he managed to beat the count he was soon undone by another combination, stopped on his feet by a merciful ref. Garcia (now 13-0 with 12 KO’s) looks to have a bright future in the sport and will be one to watch in the as he progresses.


Big punching Canadian Steven Butler destroyed the veteran Lanardo Tyner with a devastating second round right hand uppercut. Butler (now 21-1-1 with 18 KO’s) detonated the thunderous punch toward the end of the second and although Tyner made it to his feet he could not hold himself up and was in no position to continue. Tyner has mixed in very good company over the years but this is the first time he has ever been stopped in twelve defeats.


Double Olympic Gold Medalist Nicola Adams showcased herself on foreign soil for the first time as a professional, dismantling Soledad Macedo in the third round of a scheduled six. Adams displayed terrific punch variation and demonstrated she is likely to make waves in the pros just like she did as an amateur. Uruguay’s Macedo was game enough but was no match for Adams as the referee waved the bout off after Adams (now 3-0 with 2 KO’s) pinned her foe on the ropes and just teed off with crunching efficiency.


Men’s Heavyweight - Simon Kean def. Mike Sheppard (2nd round TKO)

Men’s Super Lightweight- Mathieu Germain def. Juan Garcia Mendez (8 round UD)

Women’s Light Flyweight - Kim Clavel def. Yoseline Martinez Jose (4 round UD)

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