Saunders vacates WBO title

The boxing world received some shocking news a couple of weeks ago as Billy Joe Saunders was tested positive for the performance enhancing drug oxilofrine in his sample that was submitted to VADA last month. At the time, that had put the fight between him and Demetrius Andrade for the WBO middleweight title in jeopardy. Now, that fight has been scrapped.

Saunders opted to vacate the middleweight title that he has held since 2015 and await the suspension that is to come for violating the anti-doping regulations of the Massachusetts Athletic Commission. While the substance is allowed by WADA and the UKAD up until the day of the fight, the United States makes it illegal at all times and the fight with Andrade is in Boston. WBO President Francisco Valcárcel, Esq. gave comments after Saunders vacated the title.

“B.J. Saunders has voluntarily vacated the WBO Middleweight Title. He has publicly apologized for his violation of the Massachusetts Athletic Commission’s anti-doping regulations. It is unfortunate that a boxer as talented as Saunders is facing this controversy. He will not be able to defend the title.”

Andrade will now face the next highest ranked contender for the vacant title, who is Walter Kautondokwa from Namibia.

In reference to Saunders, he may end up being suspended for six months as the WBO president made that recommendation. If so, that would make the British boxer be on the shelf for sixteen months as he has not been in the ring since his clear decision win over David Lemieux in December 2017.

Cover Photo by Leigh Dawney of Getty Images


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