LAVAL, Quebec (Dec. 16, 2017): Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) outpointed hometown hero David Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs) to retain the WBO Middleweight World Championship in the 12-round main event of HBO World Championship Boxing at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Saunders, a native of the United Kingdom, outboxed Lemieux for 12 rounds from his slick southpaw stance to win via unanimous decision with scores of 120-108, 117-111, and 118-110.
“I knew what sort of fighter David Lemieux is, and I knew what sort of coach he’s got,” said Saunders. “I knew what he was coming for. I look easy to hurt, but you can’t hit me. I like going to somebody’s backyard because I perform better. I’m a whole different animal now. When I hurt David, I wanted to put it on him. I really did, but that’s what I pay my trainer Dominic Ingle to do. I went to put it on him, but he told me to take my time, and that was the best advice.”
“I wasn’t at my best. Hats off to Billy Joe [Saunders],” said Lemieux. “From the second round on, I could not use my left hand the way I wanted, and he was on the run, so I had a hard time throwing my shots. It wasn’t my best night. A lot of this was because of me, because I couldn’t use my left hand the way I wanted to. He was running from the first round to the end, and I guess that’s his strategy to win. If this is the way you want to win, then congratulations.”
Irish middleweight Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) dropped and stopped Antoine “Action” Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KOs) of Burke, Virginia in the seventh round of an exciting back-and-forth co-main event that was initially scheduled for 10 rounds. Douglas scored an early lead with a hard jab and hooks to the body, but O’Sullivan eventually wore him down with an incessant amount of pressure, featuring left hooks and right hands from a high guard that guaranteed the technical knockout victory. Douglas was taken to the hospital immediately after the fight.
“I was sick for 2 weeks with a chest infection, so I was not at 100 percent,” said O’Sullivan. “I thought it was a good opportunity, so I decided to fight anyway. I’m happy with my performance, but I could have done better. Douglas is a tough guy with a good chin, and he had never been knocked out like that.”
Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-1, 9 KOs) scored a wide unanimous decision victory against Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (21-1, 17 KOs) across 10 rounds of super lightweight action. Ulysse scored a knockdown in each of the first three rounds, and followed that explosive opening with a veritable boxing lesson for the next seven rounds. All judges scored the fight 99-88 in favor of Ulysse.
“I was the underdog,” said Ulysse. “Everyone thought that I was in for a beating, and look at what happened. I told you that my moment was coming. Speed kills! The sky is the limit!”
“Yves Ulysse is a good fighter but he is not exciting,” said Seldin. “I was not expecting him to run that much. I thought he would come to fight coming from a decision lost. I showed my thoroughness and tried to finish strong but it was impossible because of all the running.”
Rising super featherweight star Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (13-0, 12 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. stopped the experienced southpaw Noe Martinez (10-10-2, 6 KOs) of Michoacan, Mexico via TKO in the final round of a scheduled eight-rounder.
“It was a great experience for me,” said Garcia. “I went eight rounds. I fought through adversity for the first time, and I felt like I pulled through it. I showed the true colors of a champion, and I even gave the fans a knockout in the last round because I always put it all on the line for the fans.”