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Saunders beats Lemieux to retain his WBO middleweight title



By BBC Sport



Britain's Billy Joe Saunders has demanded a unification fight with Gennady Golovkin after outclassing David Lemieux to defend his WBO middleweight title in Canada.

Saunders, 28, is unbeaten in 26 fights after winning by unanimous decision.

And after triumphing on all the judges' scorecards - 120-108, 117-111, 118-110 - he now wants to face Golovkin.

"Now fight me. We'll see a different story. You be punching fresh air," said Saunders of the four-belt champion.

Canadian Lemieux, 28, had won all four bouts since Golovkin stopped him in eight rounds in 2015, but had no answer as Saunders inflicted the fourth defeat of his career.

In his first fight in North America, Saunders dismantled the home favourite, his hand speed and footwork disarming the powerful Lemieux, who had 33 knockouts in 38 wins before Saturday.

A combination uppercut in the fourth was one highlight, with the Briton then drawing boos from the home crowd after taunting the Canadian for missing shots in the fifth.

He further pressed home his superiority in the seventh, leaving Lemieux bloodied after a series of jabs as he won every round on one judge's scorecard and defended his title for a third time.

"I look easy to whip. I look easy to put down. I look like I could run out of gas," Saunders said. "But you can't hit me. I like to come into someone's backyard because I perform better."

In the build up, the Briton told BBC Radio 5 live he had "fallen out of love with boxing a bit" as his frustration at not facing the top names in the division grew.

But with his middleweight world title being the only one that WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO belt holder Golovkin is missing, Saunders is hopeful of a unification fight in late 2018.

"You kept saying you wanted my belt when I was 14 stone, out of shape and wasn't in love with boxing. But fight me now," he said on BT Sport.

Kazakh Golovkin, 35, is in talks about a rematch with Mexican Canelo Alvarez on 5 May.
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