LAVAL, Que. — Billy Joe Saunders of Britain toyed with frustrated David Lemieux in his hometown for a one-sided victory to retain his World Boxing Organization middleweight title on Saturday night.
Saunders (26-0) made a third defence of the title he won from Andy Lee in 2015 and showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the division that is currently ruled by stars Saul (Canelo) Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
Lemieux (38-3), a former International Boxing Federation champion, fell short in his bid to become the first Canadian since Arturo Gatti to win a second title.
Saunders had Lemieux off balance from the outset, making the Laval resident miss while darting in to land shots seemingly at will.
Canadian judge Benoit Roussel scored it a 120-108, Briton Phil Edwards had it 118-110 and Gerardo Martinez of Puerto Rico 117-111, all for Saunders. The Canadian Press had it 118-110. Only the third and sixth rounds were close until the final two rounds that Saunders mainly spent dancing out of Lemieux’s reach.
“Did I not tell you it was going to be an easy fight?” said Saunders. “I told you he’s not going to hit me and he didn’t hit me.”
The co-feature saw Irishman Gary (Spike) O’Sullivan (27-2), who served as Saunders’ main sparring partner, shocked American Antoine Douglas (22-2-1) with barrage of punches against the ropes for a seventh-round technical knockout to win the minor WBO Intercontinental middleweight title. O’Sullivan never stopped moving forward, absorbing punches and firing them back until Douglas wore down.
Yves Ulysse Jr. (15-1) of Montreal, coming off his first defeat in October, proved too quick for Cletus (Hebrew Hammer) Seldin (21-1), handing the Brooklyn, N.Y. fighter his first loss. Ulysse knocked down Seldin in each of the first three rounds of the 10-round light welterweight clash.
Custio Clayton (13-0) dominated Cristian Coria (27-6-2) of Argentina to claim the minor World Boxing Organization International welterweight title. The Dartmouth, N.S. fighter won all 10 rounds on all three judges cards over Coria (27-6-2)