Billy Joe Saunders will not be fighting Demetrius Andrade in Boston on October 20th as planned. Saunders failed a drugs test back in August, when he came up positive for the banned substance oxilofrine. The test was carried out by VADA, with oxilofrine being on the agency’s banned list. And the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission has denied the WBO middleweight champion a license.
Saunders, along with his promoter Frank Warren, vehemently denies any wrongdoing whatsoever, insisting he merely used a nasal spray containing traces of oxilofrine, a substance that is only banned in competition by WADA. But the MSAC has acted the way it sees fit and though Saunders can appeal to the WBO, there is a strong chance he will be stripped of his title and Andrade will face someone else (Walter Kautondokwa has, according to Andrade promoter Eddie Hearn “signed a contract to fight Andrade on the October 20 date).
Saunders is said to be absolutely fuming at what has happened, and in light of how the substance he took is not banned by all agencies (only banned by all as a substance if taken on the day of the fight, or in competition), the unbeaten southpaw has a case in the eyes of some. Saunders, who last boxed in December, when he put on a masterclass in decisioning David Lemieux to retain his title, now has a cloudy future in the sport.
Andrade, 25-0(16) will likely be upset at this news himself. The unbeaten contender wanted very much to defeat Saunders, in doing so making his mark on the division in a big way. Will Andrade get anywhere near the same credit for beating the little-known Kautondokwa? The 33 year old Namibian is also unbeaten at 17-0(16) yet “The Executioner,” as Kautondokwa calls himself, has never fought in America before and he has never faced anyone of obvious note.
The co-challenger for the vacant belt can punch, as his 16 KO win show, but he is very much a mystery figure to many. How much Andrade knows about the man he is almost certain to fight later this month is anybody’s guess. Who knows what kind of a fight we can now expect to see in Boston on October 20.th