WINDHOEK - Hard punching Namibian middleweight professional boxer Walter ‘The Executioner’ Kautondokwa is on the threshold of confronting Demetrius Andrade for the Word Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight world title on October 20 should title holder Billy ‘Joe’ Saunders gets stripped of his belt.
The boxing world awoke to the shocking news that incumbent WBO middleweight champion Saunders failed a drug test for a banned substance oxilofrine, a stimulant, in August this year in Sheffield.
The test was done and confirmed by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, an agency contracted to oversee drug testing.
Saunders is slated to face WBO unbeaten number one contender Andrade next month at the TD Garden in Boston, USA, exclusively on Sky Sports and DAZN but that bout has been thrown in jeopardy.
Saunders awaits his fate on October 8 when the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission converge for a hearing to decide whether to give Saunders a clean bill of health or ground him.
Should his application for a licence be turned down, the fight will still go ahead as initially scheduled, with Kautondokwa taking his place in the corner as the next highest ranked opponent at number 2.
Kautondokowa’s delighted handler Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias says they are fully aware of the uncertainty prevailing with regard to Saunders’ fight and can confidently confirm that his stable has been in talks with Matchroom USA, Andrade’s Promoters.
“As it stands, we have in principle agreed to fight Andrade in the event Saunders get stripped of his title.
“This is a massive opportunity for Kautondokwa, but in essence we would of course have liked to have sufficient time for preparation but thankfully Kautondokwa is committed to the gym and is in top shape to climb in the ring at any given time.”
However, Sunshine adds that it’s a great pity that the commission’s hearing is set for eight days before the fight takes place.
“Nevertheless, we will start putting our ducks in the row for preparations as if the fight has been confirmed, which is of course not the most ideal situation. Nonetheless, this is an opportunity we cannot ignore. The MTC Sunshine camp is excited about this possible opportunity.”
In the meantime, it has emerged that the WBO has already made a stance that if Saunders does not get licensed by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, he would be relieved of his world title.