By Tomi Pradarics
Last Tuesday was a long day filled with excitement for Walter Kautondokwa and his team. As being rated No. 2 by the WBO at middleweight, the unbeaten fighter was waiting patiently in his native Windhoek, Namibia for the conclusion in a meeting took place over 7 thousand miles beeline to the north-west in Boston, Massachusetts.
The main course of the hearing was the Committee’s ruling on the licensing issue of WBO world champion Billy Joe Saunders after the British boxer tested positive for a banned substance named oxilofrine during his preparation for a bout scheduled for October 20th in the USA.
After the MSAC Committee ruled against him, Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) remained unlicensed in Massachusetts. That, on the other hand, opened the gate for Kautondokwa (17-0, 16 KOs) to come to the city of Boston to face No. 1 ranked Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) for the vacant WBO world title on a card promoted by Matchroom Boxing USA at the TD Garden.
“Due to the massive time difference between Namibia and the USA, we were up waiting for the verdict with anxiety to confirm what we already knew, i.e. that Saunders will be denied a license. Like we said in previous interviews, nobody can argue against a positive drug test and the circumstances would have to be very extraordinary to get away with something like this,” said Kautondokwa’s promoter, Nestor Tobias to BoxingScene.com after the official announcement of Andrade vs Kautondokwa.
First, the brand-new main event of unbeaten middleweights was scheduled to go for the interim version of the WBO world championship thanks to Saunders’s immediate appeal towards the World Boxing Organization. An unexpected turnaround, however, in the form of the British fighter’s withdrawal as reigning belt-holder helped the Puerto Rico-based organization to sanction next Saturday’s matchup a title bout for the vacant world championship.
The Namibian promoter could not be more satisfied with the latest news regarding the bout against the hometown favorite Andrade.
“It is fantastic news indeed. There is a big difference between an interim title and a full title. I am not a big fan of interim titles because you cannot really call yourself a legitimate champion in the division,” declared Tobias, before finishing his statement with a half-smile.
“This news is extra motivation to both boxers, and we are delighted that Walter can now be crowned full champion as opposed to interim champion at the end of the bout.”
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.