Asset 1

Slick Saunders Finally Flaunts his True Middleweight Calibre

Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO middleweight title with a clinical points win over David Lemieux and now has eyes on Gennady Golovkin.
Billy Joe Saunders Ladbrokes Free bet Offer

Silky Saunders outclasses Lemieux on Canadian ventures

“I know you’re booing me because I whipped your fighter’s ass, but that’s boxing!”

In front of a partisan crowd at the Place Bell in Quebec, Billy Joe Saunders put on a masterful performance to clinically outpoint home hope David Lemieux and defend his WBO middleweight title.

The Canadian supporters began the night rapturously cheering on their man but Saunders swiftly silenced them as he completely outclassed his helpless and clearly frustrated challenger.

With Lemieux having recklessly charged forward in straight lines continuously without any real thought process, the fleet-footed champion was able to play the role of matador to the rash bull and skilfully stay clear of any incoming danger.

The Hatfield fighter entered proceedings as the narrow favourite with most bookies to prevail on his Canadian ventures, in what was initially regarded as a razor close 50-50 encounter.

But there was a huge gulf in class showcased over 12 lopsided rounds as the undefeated 160lbs titlist ran out an impressive victor, deservingly earning scores of 120-108, 117-111 and 118-110 from the judges.

To travel to away territory, the first time fighting outside of the UK as a professional, and secure such a dominant success over the Championship distance is a highly commendable feat for the Briton.

But it’s one that also begs the question, where has this Billy Joe Saunders been all along?

Best UK Free Bets

  • bet365 bet365 Review claim £100 T&Cs Apply
    New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.#ad
  • Karamba Karamba Review claim £10 T&Cs Apply
    18+, Welcome Bonus: New depositing sport players only. Offer only applies to players who are residents of Ireland. Min deposit €10, minimum wagering on sport €20, req qualifying bets at min odds at 1/1, offers valid for 14 days; max one €10 free bet per customer, paid as bonus token with min odds 4/5 req. Selected payment methods. Tournaments run every Friday at 00:00 CET until Thursday 23:59 CET.Tournament Timeout Limit: 35. Stake contribution per bet: £1. Minimum odds: 3/10. Minimum bets in tournament to be eligible for reward: £10. 1st Place Prize: £1000. Prizes granted up to 48h after tournament ends. Free Bet does not contribute towards leaderboard. Click to see full T&Cs
  • Paddy Power Paddy Power Review claim £10 T&Cs Apply
    New customers only. Place a £10 bet on any Sportsbook market, at odds of at least 1.5 (1/2) — and we’ll give you £10 in free bets. Free bets will be awarded upon bet placement. Only deposits made via cards or Apple Pay are eligible. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.
  • Betfred Betfred Review claim £40 T&Cs Apply
    New 18+ UK customers only. Bets placed and settled within promo period 00:00 30/05/21 – 23:59 11/07/21.Register using the promo code ‘EURO40’, deposit and place first bet of £10 on Football (Evens+) in one bet transaction. £40 in Free Bets credited within 10 hours of bet settlement and expire after 7 days. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Full T&Cs Apply.
  • Coral Coral Review claim £20 T&Cs Apply
    18+ New UK+IRE customers. PayPal and certain deposit and bet types excluded. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • 888Sport 888Sport Review claim £60 T&Cs Apply
    A min deposit of £/$/€20 with promo code is required – You must bet a min of £/$/€20 at odds of 1/2 (1.50) or greater on a sports market that will be settled before the Euro 2020 knockout stages begin (June 26th 16:59:59BST) – Free Bets valid for 7 days - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time - General withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply
  • BetVictor BetVictor Review claim £30 T&Cs Apply
    18+ New customers only. Deposit, opt-in and place your first bet on any football market within 7 days of opening your account. We’ll refund up to £30 in cash if your 1st bet loses. T&Cs Apply. | Please gamble responsibly.
  • McBookie McBookie Review claim £25 T&Cs Apply
    Deposit & bet at odds of 2.0 or greater within 30 days of opening new account. Excludes Skrill & Neteller deposits.
  • MoPlay MoPlay Review claim £30 T&Cs Apply
    Bet £10+ at odds 1.50+, get 3 x £10 free bets, 7 day expiry, credited after first bet settles. Opt-in, 1 x new customer. Bet type, Free Bet restrictions and T&C's Apply.
  • William Hill William Hill Review claim £50 T&Cs Apply
    18+. Play Safe. New customers only with promo code G50. Place an initial bet with a minimum stake of £10/€10. Mobile only. Prize is five free bets worth £10/€10 each and 100 free spins to play on selected games. Terms and conditions apply
  • Dafabet Dafabet Review claim £BOG T&Cs Apply
    18+, UK/Irish races only, antepost and tote bets excluded, T&Cs apply, please bet responsibly,
  • Tote Tote Review claim £10 T&Cs Apply
    UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. Full T&Cs apply.
  • Betway Betway Review claim £30 T&Cs Apply
    New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Terms Apply

Rejuvenated WBO middleweight champion impresses

For some time now Saunders has been constantly met with criticism, whether it was for his lack of activity and few title defences, a previously apparent unwillingness to push for the big bouts or lacklustre showings when he did enter the ring ropes.

Although, all of that has been seemingly put to bed in light of the 28-year-old’s most creditable outing to date as he outwitted the hard-hitting Lemieux in his own backyard.

Much had been made of the Canadian’s destructive power in the lead up to this middleweight clash, but Saunders was majestically able to nullify those traits with his clever movement around the canvas.

The elusive southpaw outmanoeuvred the home fighter all night, making the bright white ring seem enormous with his effective footwork and forcing Lemieux to fall short throughout the bout.

As was Saunders’ sky-high confidence and superiority during proceedings he even began to taunt Lemieux, shuffling his quick feet and playfully looking to the rafters after avoiding a massive right hand which finished well off the target at the midway stage.

Big 2018 on the horizon?

It’s fair to say that the majority of fans and pundits did pick the reigning title holder to prevail, but there had been little evidence to support initial predictions of an upcoming “boxing masterclass” or “schooling” taking place.

That is exactly what unfolded under the bright lights in Quebec, but such bold claims were based off more hopes and beliefs than expectations, with Saunders having only shown in glimpses the array of ring skills he possesses beforehand.

There had been no real evidence to support initial suggestions that the Briton was capable of achieving such a feat and carrying out a one-sided boxing lesson, except for brief moments in former bouts against the likes of Chris Eubank Jr and Andy Lee.

It’s clear his hunger and desire for the big occasions has returned, with the link-up with Sheffield-based trainer Dominic Ingle having boosted his career aspirations and evidently improved his physical appearance.

During the aftermath of his most admirable showing so far, Saunders was quick to call out middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin, widely regarded as the best 160lbs fighter on the planet and a top pound-for-pound star.

The Kazakh puncher is set to tackle Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in a highly-anticipated rematch early in 2018, following the controversial draw in their maiden match-up, but Saunders has undoubtedly put himself firmly in the running for a liaison with the eventual victor.

Saunders clinched his current WBO belt back in 2015 and has only defenced it three times in two years since. But the stylish manner of his third and most-recent title defence has set him up nicely for a promising 2018, after finally showcasing his true middleweight calibre on Canadian soil.

Boxing Betting Tips