By Keith Idec
Demetrius Andrade attempted to secure a fight against David Lemieux twice before Billy Joe Saunders landed what Andrade considered a simple assignment.
Andrade knows Lemieux’s limitations make it hard for the powerful former IBF middleweight title-holder to deal with skillful southpaws such as himself and Saunders. That’s why he wasn’t the least bit surprised Saunders out-boxed Montreal’s Lemieux so easily December 16 in Laval, Quebec, Canada.
It’s also why Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) hasn’t put much stock into that dominant performance as it pertains to the Providence, Rhode Island, native’s own fight against Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) on October 20 at TD Garden in Boston (DAZN).
“Lemieux’s a small guy,” Andrade told BoxingScene.com before a press conference Friday in Boston to officially announce his shot at Saunders. “He’s short. Yeah, he’s got a lot of power – if he can hit you. He’s got no feet, he’s got no punches. All he does is rely on the [left] hook if you get close enough. Now if you’re a boxer and you know how to move, it’s night and day. So why not take that fight? You can go anywhere if you know how to fight and box and beat David Lemieux. It don’t matter where it’s at.”
England’s Saunders was so effective versus Lemieux one judge scored each of the 12 rounds for the unbeaten WBO middleweight champion (120-108). The two other judges credited Saunders for winning 10 rounds (118-110) and nine rounds (117-111).
“Lemieux is a good fighter for what he is and who he gets in the ring with,” Andrade said. “When you’re a good boxer, you’re gonna be able to beat guys like David Lemieux. I’m a great boxer. I know what it takes to beat David Lemieux as well, and so did Billy Joe Saunders. Billy Joe Saunders is a better boxer than David Lemieux. David Lemieux can only go in there and look to land the only shot he relies on, versus somebody who can move, jab, make him miss, counter. That’s when the sweet science kicks in.”
That said, Andrade anticipates an entertaining bout when Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) faces Ireland’s Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin undercard September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View).
“Him and O’Sullivan is gonna be a good fight,” Andrade said, “because you’ve got two guys who are gonna go toe-to-toe, head-to-head, because that’s all they know how to do. That’s how careers end a little sooner. But he ain’t Demetrius Andrade – a two-time world champ, a 2008 Olympian. There’s nothing that Billy Joe Saunders can do that I can’t do.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.