Undefeated Briton Billy Joe Saunders has been denied a license to box in the state of Massachusetts.
Despite looking a picture of health ahead of his scheduled title defense on October 20 against Demetrius Andrade, Saunders won’t be able to compete.
The Massachusetts Board made the decision following a positive drug test by Saunders for oxilofrine.
Saunders had been hoping he would be able to box as the substance is allowed by WADA and UKAD until the day of the fight.
The 29 year-old was tested by VADA last month, meaning Saunders’ case for leniency went unheard.
The WBO middleweight champion is now likely to be stripped of his title for failing to defend against Andrade.
Saunders has been training in the United States ahead on his mandatory fight and even posted a picture of his progress.
Promoter Eddie Hearn will now seek to save the show by drafting in Namibian Walter Kautondokwa, who is ranked number two.
A ruling could be made as early as Wednesday by the World Boxing Organization.
In another recent move for the card, former Contender star Walter Wright has been added following his shock win over Mark DeLuca.
The pair will contest a rematch after 37 year-old Wright stunned DeLuca in June.
Wright took DeLuca’s ‘0’ following a successful comeback from a five-year absence. ‘2 Guns’ is rewarded with a slot on a huge show.
Others on the bill for October 20th include Irish favorite Katie Taylor. The biggest star in women’s boxing and the WBA and IBF World Lightweight Champ competes in a showdown with Brooklyn-based Cindy Serrano.
‘Checkmate’ is the Brooklyn-based WBO Featherweight Champ. Serrano is also one of the most exciting combat sports stars to come out of Puerto Rico.
Serrano hasn’t lost a fight since 2012 and is gunning for two-weight World glory.
Also on the bill is a showdown between American boxer and IBF Super-Featherweight title holder Tevin Farmer and Irish boxer James Tennyson.
Farmer landed the title with a landslide points win in Billy Dib’s Australian backyard in August. He gained redemption in the process. Farmer missed out on the crown in a controversial split decision loss against Kenichi Ogawa in Las Vegas in December. Tennyson is the reigning European and Commonwealth champion.
The October 20th event will also be available on DAZN on US soil. DAZN is the world’s first pure sport streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way, live or on-demand.
After launching in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and Canada over the last two years, DAZN launched in the U.S. in September at $9.99 per month. DAZN has more than 70 fight nights planned across Matchroom Boxing, Bellator MMA and the World Boxing Super Series.
The platform, available on most connected devices including Smart TVs. Plus smartphones, tablets and game consoles, offers a 1-month free trial and no long-term contract.
Fans can sign up for DAZN for only $9.99 per month following a one-month free trial. By registering at DAZN.com
Or by downloading the DAZN app on a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles.
For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA on Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.