Trainer: Saunders Could’ve Finished Lemieux, But Wanted Rounds

By Keith Idec

When Billy Joe Saunders saw how his punches had affected a bloodied, beaten David Lemieux, he wanted to finish off his powerful opponent.

Without trainer Dominic Ingle in his corner, that’s the instinct Saunders would’ve pursued Saturday night. Ingle instead instructed him to be patient and the skillful southpaw picked apart Lemieux on his way to a unanimous-decision win in their 12-round fight for Saunders’ WBO middleweight title at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada.

England’s Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) beat Montreal’s Lemieux comfortably on each of the three scorecards. He won all 12 rounds, according to Canadian judge Benoit Roussel (120-108).

saunders-lemieux-fight (2)

“There were times when he could’ve rolled into Lemieux and stopped him,” Ingle told following his second sound win with Saunders in as many fights. “He could’ve done [that]. But he was playing with him all the night through. I told him to get the rounds in. You know, ‘You’re gonna be in bigger fights. Get used to doing the rounds and find it a pleasure to do the rounds. You know, don’t be blowing and grabbing and holding your way through. Box and show everybody what you can do. Box your way through.’ And that’s what he did. So he’s gotta put the work in in the first place, and that’s what he’s doing.”

Saunders acknowledged during his post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman that he wanted to stop Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs), who on paper appeared to be the more likely of the two to win by knockout.

“I’m a whole different animal now,” Saunders said. “When I hurt David, I wanted to put it on him. I really did wanna put it on him. But that’s what I pay Dominic Ingle to do. I went to put it on him and he was screaming, ‘Take your time! Stop! Don’t! Don’t!’ And to be fair, it was the best advice because then I picked, poked, prodded him and then I just lost him.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.


User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Lemonhead_Jeff on 12-17-2017

I have no doubt that Saunders could have stopped Lemieux, but he was scared to death of getting caught with a fight-changing shot. There is no other reason. Saunders gets rounds in all his recent fights. A clear KO would…

Comment by Shontae De'marc on 12-17-2017

He could have went for the finish, I was wondering why he didn't. It turns out that Ingle was telling him to ease off - I think he should have made a statement, he was hitting Lemieux flush against the…

Comment by Derranged on 12-17-2017

If he went for the knock out he would've risked getting knocked out himself.

Comment by TheBigLug on 12-17-2017

I thought he could have turned the screw after that 7th round and forced a stoppage, maybe not a clean KO. Obviously didn't see the need to take risks. I don't think anyone "chooses" to get rounds against dangerous fighters,…

Comment by Johnston on 12-17-2017

Saunders doesn't have power to just take guys out when he wants too. Why go more rounds and take a chance of getting out away if you could just end the fight and put it away?

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