On Saturday night, Billy Joe Saunders put in one of the best performances by a British fighter on foreign soil in recent years.

The WBO World Middleweight Champion outclassed David Lemieux in Canada to retain his belt, impressing the American TV audience watching on HBO.

After landing back home, Saunders spoke to Steve Lillis about the win on the latest episode of the BoxNation Podcast.

"I've had some bad performances in the past, but deep down I know what I've got in me and it's no surprise that that came out. [After] two back-to-back camps, I knew I was fit and I knew I could finish how I started.

"I couldn't afford any close rounds," admitted the 26-0 southpaw. "I said before, if I couldn't beat David Lemieux there's no point in me talking about [Gennady] Golovkin and Canelo [Alvarez].

"People thought because they were paying me well, I was going over there to take a cheque. But that clearly wasn't the case. I was going over there to do what I knew I can do," he added.

There was a fiery build-up, starting back in June when the pair clashed on Twitter. At last week's weigh-in and press conference Saunders continued to goad Lemieux and the tactics seemed to work.

"Look, I was acting the matador and he was the bull. All through the build up to the fight I was getting in his head. Even in the ring when they were announcing our names I was talking to him, laughing at him when they said 'three losses'," recalled Billy Joe.

"I wound him up then I walked over to his corner deliberately to get a reaction out of him and I got it! So I knew that I had him mentally before it even started."

Plenty of American pundits believed Saunders's World Title reign was going to come to an end against Lemieux, but the 28-year-old was always confident in his abilities. 

"I am definitely the slickest Middleweight in the world! It was a 50/50 fight in people's eyes. I knew what I could do to him."

Saunders was disappointed with Lemieux's post-fight reaction: "If a man beat me in that fashion, I'd have to take my hat off to him and say 'fair play mate you're a better man than me'.

"He did say there won't be any excuses, but after the fight straight away he blamed his hand. I don't know where he got that from because he only ever caught me [with] one shot to the body and that was about it."

After a busy second half of the year since teaming up with Dominic Ingle, the Champion is looking forward to a few weeks away from the gym before a potentially career-defining 2018.

"I'm gonna have four weeks out. I've already worked out with Dom I'm back in the gym on the 16th of January, so plenty of time."

Also on the podcast this week, Bradley Skeete discusses Amir Khan and Jeff Horn, Terry Flanagan talks about his next opponent Maurice Hooker, plus Lyon Woodstock & Zelfa Barrett have a few words to say about each other.

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