Golovkin vs Saunders: Billy Joe already overconfident?Written by Leroy Cleveland
WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders dominated David Lemieux last week, outclassing his foe in a beautiful showcase of high-quality boxing.
It was a brilliant - and entertaining - display of hit-and-don't-be-hit boxing as Billy Joe landed hard jabs, straight lefts, hooks and uppercuts while forcing the aggressive Lemieux to air-condition the arena from start to finish.
Saunders did whatever he wanted, even showboating often.
And a week later, Saunders still appears to be in the clouds.
With an eye on a shot at Gennady Golovkin, arguably the world's best boxer, Saunders told BBC Sport:
"Golovkin's got good power, good pressure, good footwork," Saunders said. "He's not 28 anymore, he's 35, to stand back and box me would take a lot."
"I know deep down what performance is there but you know everyone now is 'Billy Joe is this, Billy Joe is the next big thing, he's going to beat Golovkin, he can beat Canelo,'" Saunders said.
Not so fast, Billy Joe. Come back down to earth.
David Lemieux isn't Gennady Golovkin.
Saunders might have an edge in a hit-and-don't-be-hit boxing match; However, should Triple G face Saunders, the former wouldn't try to box. Golovkin would attempt to lure Saunders in a slug-fest and attain a knockout.
Golovkin wouldn't be looking to pile up points. And he's skilled enough to have Team Saunders very concerned.
"I've only seen Gennady Golovkin fight once, but he might have the best footwork in boxing," legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach told ESPN in 2015. "He keeps himself in a good position about 90% of the time during a fight."
"When you do that, you're winning the fight about 90% of the time. And that's why he's where he is today."
And if Saunders thinks age will hinder Golovkin, he might be in for a surprise.
Who cares if Triple G in his mid-30s? What matters in any craft or vocation are results, not one's age, youth or perceived views on age and youth.
Thanks to enhancements in training and nutrition as well as more few open minds, today's professional athletes, especially boxers, can thrive at ages that were once unimaginable.
Moreover, there's nothing to indicate Golovkin is slowing down. And his last two opponents, Canelo Alvarez (27) and Daniel Jacobs (then 29), are better and more accomplished than anyone Saunders has ever faced.And prior to facing those very good opponents who boasted a combined record of 82-1-1, Golovkin had knocked out his 20 previous foes.
Golovkin vs Saunders... Let's see what happens.