Kautondokwa eyes world crown

Walter ‘Executioner’ Kautondokwa has received an opportunity of a lifetime, at the expense of Billy Joe Saunders.

11 October 2018 | Sports

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

Hard-hitting middleweight boxer Walter ‘Executioner’ Kautondokwa will fight for the WBO interim middleweight world title against Demetrius Andrade on 20 October.

After so many years of unsuccessful bids to fight for a world crown, the Namibian is now closer to achieving his dream of becoming a global champion.

This was after the cancellation of Billy Joe Saunders’ mandatory defence against Andrade.

This resulted in WBO president Paco Valcarcel saying his organisation will sanction an Andrade-/Kautondokwa fight for its interim middleweight title, because it will afford Saunders an opportunity to appeal the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission’s denial of his WBO licence application.

The commission’s decision on Tuesday caused the cancellation of the Saunders/Andrade fight, which had been slated for 20 October at TD Garden in Boston.

Eddie Hearn, Andrade’s promoter, had arranged prior to the Massachusetts commission’s meeting on Tuesday for Kautondokwa to face Andrade in the event Saunders couldn’t get a licence.

Kautondokwa (17-0, with 16 KOs) is ranked number two among the WBO’s middleweight contenders.

“The MTC Sunshine camp is excited about the opportunity,” said local promoter Nestor Tobias.

Andrade (25-0, with 16 KOs), a former junior middleweight champion from Providence, Rhode Island, is the WBO’s top-ranked 160-pound contender and was the mandatory challenger for Saunders’ title.

If the WBO denies Saunders’ appeal, the winner of the Andrade and Kautondokwa clash will have his interim status removed and become the WBO middleweight champion.

DAZN will stream the Andrade/Kautondokwa fight in the United States.

The Massachusetts commission denied Saunders’ licence application because he tested positive for oxilofrine in an exam administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association on 30 August.

Oxilofrine is a stimulant that can aid an athlete’s stamina, and it is on VADA’s list of banned substances.

England’s Saunders (26-0, with 12 KOs) and Andrade signed agreements to adhere to VADA’s testing standards.

Saunders and his handlers argued that he tested positive for oxilofrine because it’s present in a nasal spray Saunders used, but the Massachusetts commission still denied his licence application.

Andrade was willing to fight Saunders despite his failed test, but the 2008 Olympian will have to settle for a lower-profile opponent.

Whether this ordeal will cost Saunders his WBO title remains to be seen, but it’ll definitely cost him what would’ve been a career-high payday for the Andrade fight.

The package for the 29-year-old Saunders’ to face Andrade would’ve been worth roughly US$2.3 million.

“This is a blessing in disguise. Kautondokwa has worked so hard to get where he is; he was patient, disciplined and hardworking and he has truly earned the opportunity to get the biggest fight of his life, which only two Namibian boxers from the MTC Sunshine camp, being Paulus Moses and Julius Indongo, have achieved so far.

“We are excited to be going back to the USA merely eight months after being there with ‘The Hitman’ Moses,” Tobias said. Additional reporting by BoxingScene.com.

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