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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Skillful Billy Joe Saunders should retain world title in Montreal

Lemieux likely to be outboxed

Billy Joe Saunders (right) and trainer Brendan Ingle
1 of 1

BT Sport 2/BoxNation, 2am Saturday night

Bookmakers are finding it hard to split WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and challenger David Lemieux for their clash in Montreal but it seems more likely than a 50-50 chance that the words: "And still ..." will be announced at the end of the fight. 

It's a classic puncher v boxer match-up, or as Saunders' trainer Dominic Ingle put it: "bull v matador", with Lemieux renowned as one of the most powerful punchers in the sport and Saunders known as a tremendously skillful fighter. 

Lemieux is in great form - since 2011 he has fought 14 times and won 13, with his only defeat coming against the great Gennady Golovkin.

An impressive 33 of his 38 wins have been by knockout, but few commentators have picked up on the fact that Lemieux has won only two of his last six inside the distance and GGG aside, Saunders is better than the opponents on his record.

Unfortunately for Lemieux he seems to be taking on Saunders at the wrong time. Since teaming up with Ingle, Saunders appears mentally and physically at the top of his game, and victories over Chris Eubank Jr and Willie Monroe underline his ability.

Lemieux is capable of hurting Saunders, but the champion has never been down as an amateur or a pro and if he stays out of trouble he should retain his belt on the scorecards. 

BJ Saunders on points
2pts 6-4 Betfred

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Since teaming up with Ingle, Saunders appears mentally and physically at the top of his game
E.W. Terms
Sky bet