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Saunders dominates Lemieux to retain WBO middleweight title

Billy Joe Saunders, right, of Britain, lands a

Billy Joe Saunders, right, of Britain, lands a hit on David Lemieux, of Canada, during their WBO middleweight boxing title match in Laval, Quebec, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP) Credit: AP

LAVAL, Quebec - Billy Joe Saunders toyed with frustrated David Lemieux in his hometown for a one-sided victory in a successful World Boxing Organization middleweight title defense Saturday night.

Saunders (26-0) made a third defense of the title the British fighter won from Andy Lee in 2015 and showed he could be a force in the division that is currently ruled by stars Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

Lemieux (38-3), a former International Boxing Federation champion, fell short in his bid to become the first Canadian since Arturo Gatti to win a second title.

Saunders had Lemieux off balance from the outset, making the Laval resident miss while darting in to land shots seemingly at will.

Canadian judge Benoit Roussel scored it a 120-108, Briton Phil Edwards had it 118-110 and Gerardo Martinez of Puerto Rico 117-111, all for Saunders. Only the third and sixth rounds were close until the final two rounds that Saunders mainly spent dancing out of Lemieux's reach.

New York Sports