By Peter Lim
This boxer versus banger matchup might appear a virtual tossup on paper, but fights are not fought on paper and the action that transpires in the squared circle will be markedly different and more one-sided than what was predicted on the drawing board. Styles make fights and Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) will have Lemiuex (38-3, 33 KOs) all figured out in this one.
There’s little mystery to Lemiuex’s modus operandi - come forward, close the distance with the jab and let your fists fly. It’s a right-handed style Saunders has dealt with his entire career. Saunders’ educated left-handed style, on the other hand, is something Lemieux has never dealt with on the world stage. (His first-round KO over a washed-up Hector Camacho Jr. doesn’t count).
After a feeling-out round or two, Saunders dominates the exchanges with two-fisted combinations punctuated with his southpaw right hook. Lemieux keeps things suspenseful by rocking Saunders with occasional power punches but they are too few and far in between to shift the momentum of the fight. The accumulation of punches eventually takes its toll on Lemieux as he is dropped multiple times for an eighth-round TKO.