WBO middleweight champion, Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24ko), has warned mandatory challenger Billy Joe Saunders (22-0, 12ko) that he hits ‘as hard, if not harder’ than destructive WBA/IBF champion, Gennady Golovkin.
Lee defends his title against the Hatfield fighter on Dec. 19 in Manchester, with the winner then ostensibly on a 2016 collision course with the big-hitting Kazakh, a unification fight that Lee has stated he is keen on for next year.
“I think I punch as hard, if not harder than Golovkin. Just look at the one-punch knockouts. Look at mine, compared to his,” he said, no doubt referencing last year’s highlight reel knockout of John Jackson.
“[Golovkin’s] are an accumulation of heavy, hard punches but I can finish fights with one punch. It’s up to me to prove it now, starting against Billy Joe.”
Saunders has stated he is fully aware of the one-shot power of Lee, as well as his right hook ‘ money punch’ – a shot the Irishman also used to devastating effect against Matty Korobov, to stop the Russian former amateur standout and claim the title last December.
Lee also knocked down former WBO champion Peter Quillin in April in his last fight, rising off the canvas twice himself before doing so and battling to a draw.
Irrespective, it’s hard to argue with the power and 91 % KO ratio of Golovkin, and the fearsome reputation he has built on his wrecking ball mission through the division thus far, dispatching opponents left and right as he seemingly throws every punch with deadly venom. His own ‘one shot’ power is also there for all to see, and is perhaps best evidenced against the likes of Lajuan Simon and Nobihiro Ishida.
This month’s stoppage of David Lemieux in New York was hopefully the first of the unification fights he is seeking – and while Lee is also happy to oblige him in the that regard, should Saunders prevail in December, the fans – and Golovkin- will be the ones missing out, as the former Olympian, as well as promoter Frank Warren, has stated he needs more world-level experience before taking any fight with triple-G.
Lee/Saunders will be live on Boxnation in the UK