by Shaun Brown
"If I have to chase him I will chase him, if I have to go toe-to-toe with him I will."
The words of David Lemieux today as he spoke to the media at a press conference in Montreal to officially announce Billy Joe Saunders' third defence of his WBO Middleweight title on December 16 in Laval, Canada.
Champion and challenger both sounded their usual confident selves ahead of a fight that has captured the imagination of the boxing public.
"David shows a lot of heart when he comes to fight but the truth is I’m too slick and too good for him!" said Saunders who will be fighting outside of the U.K for the first time in his professional career.
Saunders is fresh off a comfortable points victory against Willie Monroe Jr last month while Lemeiux returns to action after a seven-month break following a wide 10-round decision over Marcos Reyes in May. It was the second win of the year for the 28-year-old Canadian puncher after scoring a third round knockout in his shoot-out against Curtis Stevens in March.
"I’m happy, I think he is in for a surprise, I will be at my best for you and take your title from you!" Lemieux told the champion.
"I will be victorious at the end of the fight, that is a promise, let’s rumble! Let’s get it on."
Saunders appears to be a revitalised individual after joining up with trainer Dominic Ingle in Sheffield. Ingle whipped Saunders into shape for their first fight together against Monroe Jr and says his man is in a very good place.
"Billy is in a very good place and he’s had some brilliant training, fans will be in for a treat in December!"
"It’s a great fight, David is a very big puncher and a great fighter, he threw everything he could at Gennady Golovkin," he added.
Lemieux went in as IBF 160lbs champion against Golovkin in their 2015 unification only to have the belt taken off him after being stopped in the eighth round.
"There is a lot at stake, the winner of this is in line for Canelo or Golovkin, I’ve seen David at his best against GGG," Saunders commented.
"It’s going to be an exciting fight, it’s the classic match-up between the boxer and the puncher, I’m looking forward to it.
"David shows a lot of heart when he comes to fight but the truth is I’m too slick and too good for him! Styles make fights! People think they can bully me, I look forward to David coming at me, he’s going to eat the jab!
"I’m in boxing to win and defend my belt all over the world, Lemieux is my tester for the winner of Canelo and Golovkin."
At the face-off for the cameras Saunders attempted to get under the skin of the challenger: "You had your chance against Golovkin and blew it. I'll put you out like a candle!"