WBO orders Saunders to defend title against Lemieux

By Wil Esco

The WBO have officially put Billy Joe Saunders on the clock for a mandatory defense.

With David Lemiuex apparently left out in the cold by Miguel Cotto’s decision to take on Sadam Ali in December, the middleweight puncher appears to be right back in line for another notable fight.

Yesterday the WBO sent a letter to promoters Frank Warren and Eric Gomez which officially ordered titleholder Billy Joe Saunders to begin negotiations to face its No. 1 challenger David Lemieux. The two sides have 30 days to reach an agreement or else the mandatory title defense will be sent to purse bid. The minimum acceptable bid for the bout would be $200,000.

Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) is most recently coming off of a unanimous decision win over Willie Monroe Jr. last month in a fairly nondescript bout — aside from the theatrics leading up to it. Aside from that, Saunders’ tenure as a world champion has been pretty ho-hum, with him having fought only one other fight, against Artur Akavov, since winning the title in late 2015.

Meanwhile Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Marcos Reyes in May, following a thrilling stoppage win over Curtis Stevens in March that was a Knockout of the Year candidate.

A Saunder-Lemieux fight, on paper anyway, would feature a pretty interesting style clash between the boxer and the slugger. And it would probably be the most dangerous fight of Saunders’ career as well. Let’s have at it!

Source:: Bad Left Hook