WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is supremely confident ahead of Saturday night’s HBO main event against David Lemieux, and says he’s not at all worried about going into hostile territory in Laval, Quebec.
“I'm used to fighting outside the UK, I'm a traveler of the world,” the former amateur standout said at Tuesday’s media workout. “I don't care if there's a million people. It's just me and him in that ring, end of the story. As for the rest, I don't care.”
Saunders (25-0, 12 KO) will be making the third defense of the title he won from Andy Lee two years ago. It’s been something of a rocky road for the 28-year-old, as he had to overcome a late charge from Lee to win the belt, and then struggled some in his first defense, a win over unheralded Artur Akavov.
Last time out, Saunders beat Willie Monroe Jr fairly handily, but Lemieux (38-3, 33 KO) is an entirely different sort of challenge, a big puncher whom Saunders cannot afford to make mistakes against if he hopes to make this a successful road trip.
As he’s become somewhat known for, however, Saunders is talking a big game, and says he thinks he’ll be able to put Lemieux away inside the distance.
“David has no chance of winning, and I'm convinced that he will not make the distance against me,” Saunders said. “I'm willing to bet part of my purse to charity if I lose and the winner will choose which charity to give it to.
“I'm not here for the money or anything like that, I'm here to make a statement. There's no point in talking anymore, all that matters now is what happens on Saturday."