Two weeks ago in Canada, Billy Joe Saunders threw down the gauntlet to the middleweight division with a systematic dismantling of David Lemieux.
The 28-year-old Englishman kept his World Boxing Organization middleweight title by scoring a lopsided unanimous decision victory over Canadian crowd favorite Lemieux.
Saunders holds the only world title in his weight class that is not in the hands of IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC world champion Gennady Golovkin.
Saunders relied on his ring savvy and hand speed to disarm the explosive punching power of Lemieux, who had 33 knockouts in 38 victories heading into the contest which took place at the Place Bell arena in Laval, Quebec.
He won by scores of 120-108, 117-111 and 118-110.
Saunders got the upper hand from the opening bell as he peppered the Canadian with jabs and combinations, winning every round on one judge's scorecard.
Lemieux, who was riding a four fight winning streak, said his attack was blunted after he hurt his left hand in the second round and also said he was unable to get off with his jab due to a pre-existing shoulder injury.
"I would have beaten him with a healthy shoulder. I'm 100% sure," said Lemieux.
According to his had trainer Marc Ramsay, this injury certainly had an impact on the pace of the fight.
"The strategy was to quickly get close to Saunders," said Lemieux's coach. "He had to cut the ring and make his strategy with the jab. David was not able to do it because of this injury. He could not fire two jabs in a row."
Lemieux swears he is far from retirement and is ready to continue his career for another six years. He is inspired by the great Muhammad Ali, with the hope of becoming a champion once again one day.
"I obviously do not compare myself to him, but Muhammad Ali has five defeats on his record and is considered to be the best boxer of all time," Lemieux said. "You have not yet seen my end, I promise you that there will still be some beautiful boxing evenings in the future."