By Keith Idec
Tyson Fury was very impressed by Billy Joe Saunders’ domination of David Lemieux on Saturday night.
Fury’s close friend was so sharp while out-boxing the hard-hitting Lemieux in Laval, Quebec, Canada, the former heavyweight champion is more convinced than ever that Saunders can beat Gennady Golovkin. Fury recognizes that Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) is far superior to Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs), yet believes the slippery Saunders’ southpaw stance, intelligence and movement would trouble Golovkin as well.
“Don’t get me wrong – Canelo and Triple-G are different animals to David Lemieux, as we saw when they fought,” Fury told BoxingScene.com early Sunday morning, referring to Golovkin’s eighth-round stoppage of Lemieux two years ago. “But Billy Joe Saunders versus Golovkin, I think Golovkin will try and pressure Billy Joe, similar to [Lemieux], with better feet and better movement and better feints.
“But, you know, with his awkward southpaw style and his fast hands, I think he gives him trouble, very much so. And I think Golovkin will go into a sort of performance where he’ll sort of think he needs to knock out [Saunders]. And I think it’ll be a cat-and-mouse job again, same kind of thing. Same kind of thing.”
England’s Saunders stung Montreal’s Lemieux with his jab throughout their 12-round bout and was very disciplined defensively against the dangerous former IBF champion. The WBO middleweight champion won by big margins on all three scorecards (120-108, 118-110, 117-111) in his first professional fight outside of England.
The 28-year-old Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) would like to fight Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez next, but he is realistic in that he understands they’re probably headed for a rematch May 5.
Saunders was supposed to box Golovkin on June 10 in Golovkin’s native Kazakhstan. Saunders signed a contract for that bout, but Golovkin ultimately decided to skip it because boxing Saunders on that date wouldn’t have given him enough time to rest and properly promote his middleweight championship showdown with Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) on September 16 in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.