Demetrius Andrade signed with Matchroom Boxing earlier this year for a chance at a world title. On October 20th, Andrade has the chance to reach that mark as he makes his way to the TD Garden and a shot at the WBO world middleweight title.
The issue is the man he was supposed to face for the title, Billy Joe Saunders, will be at home.
Saunders, who had held the title since 2015, would be stripped of the title following a drug test revealed that he had an illegal supplement in his system. Saunders and his team would contend that the oxilofrine found in his system in the voluntary test, was due to a common nasal spray. They would also contend that it was allowed out of competition by both the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) and UK Anti-Doping, but due to Saunders allowing VADA testing for the fight, the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission would use that as evidence to deny the British boxer a license.
Now, on Saturday night Andrade contends for the title against little known Walter Kautondokwa, who Andrade claims he’d have to have fought anyway as a top contender.
“For him to be in this position he was a top 5 guy, and I think he was like #2,” Andrade said in an interview with FightHub leading up to his showdown at the TD Garden. “So, what it boils down to is that he would’ve became a mandatory anyway. So, I would’ve had to fight him anyway because I would’ve beat Billy Joe Saunders and that would’ve been the guy next…”
Andrade, a former super welterweight champion, claims that no matter who it was going to be, he was ready for fight night.
“I’m here. I’m fighting. I’m active. I’m fighting for the WBO championship title of the world. What can I say?! I’m here to fight, and it’s whoever! And it was Billy Joe, I signed up, ‘Here I am!’, now it’s Walter, ‘Here I am!’ The show must go on. That’s what happens when you do drugs. That’s what happens when you a cheat.”
When asked about Saunders’ drug test failure, Andrade was not shocked looking at Saunders physique. “You know, we had suspicious feelings of his previous fights, how he would look like f****g 195lbs, then the next thing we know he’s at 160. So therefore, if you gonna fight Demetrius Andrade, you gonna know it’s gonna be equal and fair playing ground when you step into that ring. And we also made history and let people know that VADA is the gold standard of boxing and we not doing the elementary drug testing, we doing the professional drug testing.”
Andrade may have his thoughts on Saunders’ PED issues, but refused to look past the British boxer’s natural skills inside the ring. “Can Billy Joe fight? Yeah, he can fight,” the Rhode Island native said emphatically during fight week.
“He’s slick, you know what I’m saying? Does the drug help him be in better shape, you know, more intake, faster? Yeah, that does help. So, you can’t really take away the boxing skills because the drugs don’t give you skills, it just increases power, speed, endurance, stuff like that. So, he still is a good, slick fighter. He cleans up, maybe we can make it happen.”
Quotes Transcribed by Bad Left Hook