By Keith Idec
David Lemieux didn’t appear all that interested in what Billy Joe Saunders had to say to him after their fight Saturday night.
The contender from Montreal wasn’t in the mood to give the unbeaten Saunders credit for his masterful performance, either. Lemieux told HBO’s Max Kellerman following his one-sided, unanimous-decision defeat to England’s Saunders that it was an injury to his left hand, not Saunders’ boxing ability and defensive skill, that prevented him from winning.
Regardless, Saunders’ superb display resulted in a wide win on all three scorecards at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Wales’ Phil Edwards (118-110), Puerto Rico Gerardo Martinez (117-111) and Canada’s Benoit Roussel (120-108) scored Saunders a convincing victor in their 12-round fight for his WBO middleweight title.
“I wasn’t at my best,” Lemieux said. “Hats off to Billy Joe, but as of the second round, my left hand, I couldn’t use it the way I wanted to. And he was on the run, so I had a little bit of difficulties throwing my shots. So I gotta say it wasn’t my best night.”
Kellerman quickly pointed out that Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) had “a lot” to do with his disappointing performance, but Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) disagreed and criticized the skillful southpaw for “running away” throughout their bout.
“Well, a lot of it?,” Lemieux said. “No, I think a lot of it was because of me. I didn’t do what I could’ve done. I couldn’t use my left hand the way I wanted to and this was the result. And, you know, he was running away from the first round until the end. I guess that’s his strategy to win – to run away from fighters, instead of fighting. So you know what? If this is the way you wanna win, then hey, congratulations.”
The capacity crowd booed Saunders during and after the fight, but he understood their disappointment.
“I know you’re booing me because I whipped your fighter’s ass,” Saunders said. “But, you know, that’s boxing.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.