The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission on Tuesday denied middleweight world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders a boxing license because of his recent failed drug test for the banned performance-enhancing stimulant oxilofrine, meaning his upcoming fight is canceled and that the WBO will likely strip him of its 160-pound belt.
Saunders, who will lose out on a multimillion-dollar payday, had been scheduled to make his fourth title defense against former two-time junior middleweight titlist and mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade in the main event of a Matchroom Boxing card on Oct. 20 (DAZN) at TD Garden in Boston.
Saunders and Andrade contracted with VADA to oversee a testing program for their fight and Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), 29, a 2008 Olympian for Great Britain, gave a sample to a collector on Aug. 30 in Sheffield, England.
WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel told ESPN that the sanctioning body will send Saunders a letter asking him to show cause why he should not be stripped of the world title.
In addition, Kid Galahad (24-0, 15 KOs), 28, of England, will face Providence's Toka Kahn Clary (25-1, 17 KOs), 26, in a featherweight world title eliminator and former junior featherweight world titleholder Scott Quigg (34-2-2, 25 KOs), 30, of England, will take on Mario Briones (29-7-2, 21 KOs), 32, of Mexico, in an eight-round bout.