Billy Joe Saunders vs Demetrius Andrade cancelled

Billy Joe Saunders has been denied a licence to fight

Billy Joe Saunders has been refused a boxing license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission to defend his WBO middleweight title against Demetrius Andrade.

A statement from WBO president Francisco Valcárcel Mulero said: "It is unfortunate that a boxer as talented as Saunders is facing this controversy and will not be able to defend the title".

Saunders' promoter, Frank Warren, last week insisted that the WBO middleweight champion would still be fighting in the main event of the Matchroom Boxing card on October 20 at Boston's TD Garden after blaming a "common decongestant nasal spray" for the failed drug test.

Oxilofrine was found in Saunders system, which is a stimulant banned in competition, but not prohibited out of competition under UK Anti-Doping and British Boxing Board of Control regulations.

The decision to not grant Saunders a licence has caused the cancellation of his bout against Dimitrius Andrade in Boston on October 20 - costing the fighter a £1.7m payday.

The Brit returned an adverse analytical finding in a test carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association in August.

He most likely now be stripped of his WBO world middleweight title of which he has been champion since he beat Andy Lee in December 2015.

James Tennyson's IBF world super-featherweight challenge against USA champion Tevin Farmer will go ahead on 20 October despite doubts over Billy Joe Saunders' presence on the bill. He then has the right to appeal any decision before the Grievances Committee according to Rule 34 of the WBO Rules and Regulations.

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