The final weekend of the boxing calendar for fans of British and Irish fighters takes place in Canada this Saturday.
It features world champion Billy Joe Saunders taking on home favourite David Lemieux, Ireland’s Gary O’Sullivan facing American prospect Antoine Douglas and double Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams squaring up to Soledad Macedo.
Let’s ring the bell for your bets…
— Golden Boy Boxing (@GoldenBoyBoxing) December 11, 2017
Saunders v Lemieux – Bet Now
This weekend’s fight is probably Saunders’ biggest challenge since Chris Eubank Jr. Lemieux is not the biggest name in the division – in fact he got mauled by middleweight king Gennady Golovkin in eight rounds in 2015 – but he’s a former champ and a legit banger.
Since edging out Eubank with his slicker work two years ago, Saunders won the world title from ‘Irish’ Andy Lee and has defended it twice against fairly mediocre opposition. The champ is favourite to keep his belt, but at 4/5 only just.
Lemieux has blown away 33 of his 38 victims inside in distance and he’s only 6/4 to win by KO on Saturday. The French-Canadian also has home advantage, but he’ll have to get up close to detonate his bombs.
For all his skills the Brit’s elusiveness might be his finest asset and it’s hard to think of time he’s been wobbled. When Saunders has not shone it’s been down to poor prep, however he’s on top of that now and he was outstanding in last outing.
Both middlewieghts are confident of victory, but I am certain the former Team GB amateur – who qualified for the Beijing Olympics aged only 18 – will outclass Lemieux.
The challenger has been stopped twice in his career, however he’s one tough customer. Billy Joe has only stopped two of his last 10 opponents and he will take the ‘tactical’ approach to this fight, or, in other words, he’ll be on his bike.
It’s true that Saunders can gas a bit and as the away fighter he’ll have to work extra hard to convince the judges, but he’s up against a fella who has only won twice by KO after round six despite 33 stoppage victories. I’m backing the champ to have enough to take the decision.
Bet of the bout: Saunders on points at 11/8.
O’Sullivan v Douglas – Bet Now
There’s not much we don’t know about O’Sullivan as a boxer, but the same can’t be said for Douglas. The 25-year-old American middleweight has shown guts and he’s also been stopped. He’s shown power, however not against better competition.
With a not dissimilar record, Spike has lost against the two top tier opponents he’s faced but he’s dispatched most of the others before the final bell. The winner of this one will have a springboard to headline fights and possibly title shots, and I think 1/2 for Douglas to win is decent value.
Judging by both men’s records and reputations this one should be a slugfest, however don’t be tempted by the shorter odds for KO victories.
In 10 round contests the finishing line is always in sight and my money is going on Douglas on points.
Bet of the bout: Douglas to win 1/2.
— Nicola Adams (@NicolaAdamsOBE) December 12, 2017
Also featuring on the bill is Britain’s first lady of boxing, Adams. The ultra-talented super flyweight probably has her easiest professional assignment in Uruguay’s journeywoman Macedo.
Adams has six rounds to see off her opponent but I suspect she will only need three or four to add a fifth KO defeat to the record of the Latina.