Billy Joe Saunders looks set to be stripped of his WBO middleweight title after being denied a licence to box in MA after a positive doping test for a stimulant.
His fight with Andrade, which had been due to take place on 20 October in Boston, has now been scrapped, while it is highly likely the WBO will strip him of his world middleweight title.
The Matchroom boxing boss said he has "signed a contract" for Namibian Walter Kautondokwa to face American Andrade. Saunders and his handlers argued that he tested positive for oxilofrine because it's present in a nasal spray Saunders used, but the MA commission still denied his license application.
But he failed a voluntary drugs test last month, testing positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine, and the boxing commission in MA have denied him a licence to fight.
Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), who was scheduled to make his fourth defence of the middleweight title he captured from Andy Lee in December 2015, said in a statement the negative test was a result of using "a common decongestant nasal spray". They didn't petition the WBO to strip Saunders of its 160-pound championship, either.
Saunders" team had been optimistic of being cleared as "in competition' typically means the day of the fight in the USA and Britain.
Despite testing positive for oxilofrine, Saunders was expected to be allowed to fight Andrade as the stimulant is only banned in competition under UKAD's rules.
Failing VADA's test for oxilofrine is expected to cost Saunders' side a package of $2.3 million for what was supposed to be a mandatory defense of his WBO title.
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