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October 10, 2018

REPORT: SAUNDERS DENIED LICENSE BY MASSACHUSETTS; WBO MAY STRIP HIM
By Scott Shaffer

According to the BBC, WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has been denied a boxing license by the state of Massachusetts and therefore will be unable to defend his title as scheduled on October 20th against Demetrius Andrade, a former 154-pound title holder. Saunders was denied the license because he recently tested positive for a banned stimulant, oxilofrine. Saunders claimed the positive result was due to a legal, over-the-counter nasal spray, but the Massachusetts commission apparently did not accett that argument.  The next move is up to the WBO, which must now decide whether to strip Saunders of the title [in any event, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is the legitimate world champion at 160 pounds].  

UPDATE: The WBO just tweeted: "WBO Championship Committee will order [Saunders] to show why WBO shouldn't declare the title vacant. [He] has the right to appeal any decision before the Grievances Committee according to Rule 34 of WBO Rules and Regulations."

The promoter of the October 20th show, Eddie Hearn, has previously stated that if Saunders is stripped, he has an agreement in place for Andrade to fight WBO #2 contender Walter Kautondokwa of Namibia for the vacant title. Kautondokwa has run up a 17-0 record in Africa against opponents with good records but is a complete unknown to even the most serious of boxing fans.



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