David Lemieux gets chance for WBO middleweight title Dec. 16 vs. Billy Joe Saunders

David Lemieux
(Seth Wenig / AP)

Canada’s David Lemieux will have an opportunity to regain a middleweight title Dec. 16 after his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, struck a deal Tuesday for Lemieux to fight England’s Billy Joe Saunders in Montreal, the Los Angeles Times learned.

HBO will televise it and Montreal’s Bell Centre is among those bidding to host the bout that will leave the winner and Gennady Golovkin as the only men with middleweight belts.

Saunders (25-0, 12 knockouts) made his second World Boxing Organization title defense Sept. 16 with a unanimous-decision triumph over Willie Monroe, just hours before Golovkin retained his three division belts with a draw against Canelo Alvarez.


Against the 28-year-old Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs), Saunders will face his most formidable test yet against a power puncher who has won four consecutive bouts since losing his International Boxing Federation belt to Golovkin two years ago.

“What a great fight for Lemieux and Saunders, and for boxing to finish this great year,” De La Hoya told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “This is great, too, for the division that already has Canelo and Triple-G [Golovkin].”

While Alvarez and Golovkin are working to strike a rematch in May after their competitive bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the Lemieux-Saunders winner will serve as further impetus to make that fight.

De La Hoya promotes both Alvarez and Lemieux.

“This fight’s a tremendous opportunity for Lemieux. He’d become the missing piece of the puzzle,” De La Hoya said.

“I do want to come to terms and make that rematch [for Alvarez] with [Golovkin], but if we can’t come to terms … and Lemieux looks spectacular in winning the title from Saunders, that’s another option for Canelo,” De La Hoya said.