Skills pay the bills

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You ever heard the expression “Skills pay the bills?” Well in this case it’s too relevant. This weekend Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO middleweight title against David Lemieux. Billy Joe Saunders is a boring but very talented boxer who in my opinion boxes the socks of Lemieux. I’m by no means suggesting Lemieux doesn’t have skill, he does, but he is a boxer whose main strengths lie in his punching power and constant pressure.

Boxer vs the Puncher

This is your typical boxer vs the puncher match up and usually if both combatants are of an elite standard the boxer’s hand is raised at the end of the bout. Examples include Mayweather vs Cotto, Rigondeaux vs Donaire, Leonard vs Hagler and Lomachenko vs Walters. In most those cases the boxers completely dominated unless they chose to engage in toe 2 toe action (usually at the delight and purpose of please the fans).

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If Billy Joe Saunders wins, then to be honest he has nowhere to go but to fight Gennady Golovkin. GGG is eager to unify the division and Billy Joe Saunders is the only 1 standing in the way of him doing so. With GGG seeming to be on the decline this may be his best chance to unify by upsetting the Kazakh.  Even with a fading GGG I think BJS loses unless he shows the fruit of his labour with new trainer Domonic Ingle and boxes and moves superbly all night. I personally believe he’s a great talent who a bit like James DeGale has looked awful against lesser opponents but this will be a fight the former Olympian should excel in. He has better sparring this time round and is away from home. Typically Saunders is one of those fighters who only lives a fighters lifestyle during camp so it’s going to be interesting to see how he performs actually committing himself to the sport.

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Lemieux is coming off an amazing KO win over former world title challenger Curtis Steven where his power was evident for all to see. It was a solid performance that will likely win him Knockout of the year. Lemieux who is a former world champion himself will have home advantage, and if it goes to points in Canada who knows what outrageous scores we may see. He became pro at the age of 17 choosing not go to the Beijing Olympic where BJS was beaten in the preliminary round by the eventual winner.

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Prediction

In this battle of Big Ben vs The Peace Tower it’s safe to say Big Ben will ring the loudest (google is your friend lol). Billy Joe Saunders by points is my prediction, assuming rounds are scored fairly and without corruption. I think his chin will be tested, but he’s as hard as nails. He will likely fade in the later rounds a little but he’s intelligent enough to survive. A lot of this does depend on the new improved BJS and whether or not his time with Ingle will benefit or exhaust him in the ring.

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This fight card will be televised on BoxNation and BT Sport at around 2am. The main event is likely to be between 3:30am and 4pm.