Former IBF world middleweight champion David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) is predicting a very vicious beating for reigning WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs).
After months of back and forth trash talk, a deal was finalized on Tuesday - for an HBO televised date of December 16th. Saunders will travel to Lemieux's backyard of Montreal, Canada.
It's one of the biggest fights in the careers of both boxers - and the big nugget at stake is the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch.
For Lemieux, this will be his third fight of the year. In March, he demolished Curtis Stevens - putting him out cold with a third round knockout. And then he came back in May, to win a ten round unanimous decision over Marcos Reyes, who took a lot of punishment in the fight.
Saunders has not been very active, with only two fights since winning the title from Andy Lee in the fall of 2015. Last December he struggled to retain his title against Artur Akavov, and then came back last month in much better form to win a decision over Willie Monroe Jr.
Lemieux is going to come out guns blazing, aiming to put Saunders to sleep in the fight.
“It's time to be world champion again,” Lemieux said. “Saunders is about to get destroyed. I'm going to be extremely ready for this fight and I'm going to inflict a lot of pain on Saunders. His 0 must go.'”
Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management, who guide Lemieux's career with Golden Boy Promotions, says his boxer has a very deep dislike for Saunders and because of that he'll really go out there to do damage.
“This has ‘great fight’ written all over it. I know David is extremely motivated and viscerally dislikes Saunders. When he’s in that state, watch out. This promises to be a war. We are thrilled to have the opportunity for David to fight for the WBO title at home and keep it here," Estephan said.