Billy Joe Saunders set to be stripped of WBO title after MSAC refuses licence for Demetrius Andrade fight

Anthony Cocks

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Troubled English boxer Billy Joe Saunders 26-0 (12) is set to be stripped of his WBO middleweight title after the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission (MSAC) refused his licence to box ahead of his scheduled fight against Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade 25-0 (16) on October 20 after testing positive for the banned substance oxilofrine.

The WBO had previously warned that Saunders would be stripped of his world championship belt if the MSAC denied him a licence to fight.

The 29-year-old Hatfield southpaw’s promoter Frank Warren had blamed a nasal spray for the positive result in the test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).

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Under VADA rules oxilofrine is considered a banned substance; however United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) abides by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards, which only bans the stimulant “in competition”, defined as the day of the fight.

Saunders, who was present on for the hearing via teleconference, was singularly unimpressed by the MSAC ruling.

“You can suck my prick,” he told the Commission when advised of the verdict.

WBO number one contender Andrade is still expected to fight on the date. The 30-year-old American southpaw will now contest the vacant title against unbeaten Namibian Walter ‘The Executioner’ Kautondokwa 17-0 (16) at the TD Arena in Boston on October 20.

Kautondokwa is the WBO number two ranked contender at 160-pounds.

The news tops off a forgettable year for Saunders, who withdrew from his title defence against perennial contender Martin Murray in June, was involved in a skirmish in a fast food restaurant with Deontay Wilder and his team in Belfast in August and was fined £100,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) for bringing the sport into disrepute last month after he published a distasteful video of himself online offering a woman crack cocaine in exchange for a sex act and inciting her to punch a passer-by in the face by claiming the stranger was a paedophile.


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