'I don't want the dog meat. I want the dog himself': Billy Joe Saunders still gunning for Golovkin despite Canadian date
PUBLISHED: 09:27 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:28 19 October 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Billy Joe Saunders is heading to Canada for his next WBO world middleweight title defence - but still has his sights set on Gennady Golovkin.
He will face former IBF champion David Lemieux in Montreal on December 16.
It will be the 28-year-old Hatfield fight star’s third defence since beating Andy Lee for the strap in 2015.
He beat Artur Akovov in December before taking a points success over Willie Monroe Jr last month
Hometown boy Lemieux, who is also 28, has a record of 38 wins from his 41 fights, 33 of them by knockout.
He won his title in June 2015 by beating Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam before losing it four months later to GGG.
And Saunders sees the Canadian as just another step to that unification bout.
He said: “Lemieux looks good against ‘B level’ fighters but he is now getting in the ring with someone who is far more superior and slick than anyone he has ever been in with.
“I don’t just want the dog meat that Golovkin has left behind, I want the dog himself and when I come through this fight I will have him.
“[Lemieux] is a mandatory and we’ve agreed a deal to go over to foreign soil and get it on. I have a lot of friends in Canada, and I’ll be bringing a lot of supporters over to Canada from the UK.
“It has all the makings of a good fight. I’m expecting a good, clean, fair decision.
“Once I beat Lemieux I’ll be moving onto bigger fish; the winner of the rematch between Canelo and Golovkin. I’m looking forward to a great fight.”
Lemieux naturally sees things slightly differently.
“It’s time to be world champion again,” he 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 zero must go.”
Frank Warren said: “It’s a great opportunity for Billy Joe to defend his WBO World Title against a big-name opponent and headline his first bill on HBO at American primetime. “He is out to prove he is the best middleweight in the world. He has been continually avoided and if it means he has to go to Canada to ensure he can no longer be overlooked, then that is what he is prepared to do.”