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Billy Joe Saunders intends to sue Massachusetts State Athletic Commission

Saunders will be missing out on a $2.3M payday due to the commission refusing to license the fighter.

Billy Joe Saunders Press Conference Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

According to promoter Frank Warren, current WBO middleweight titleholder Billy Joe Saunders is livid over the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission denying him a license as a result of testing positive for banned substance oxilofrine.

With the ruling Saunders was pulled from his Oct. 20th fight where he was set to defend his world title against against Demetrius Andrade while earning a $2.3 million purse. Saunders now has designs on suing the Massachusetts commission for the loss of earnings.

Warren says the commission had no basis to deny Saunders a license based on what they claim was Saunders use of a common decongestant nasal spray, and that they’re willing to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court (presumably the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, though I chuckle at the thought of Saunders telling Brett Kavanaugh to suck his prick).

Here’s Warren’s take on the commission’s decision via talkSPORT:

“They referred to a prohibited list which is published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and they applied that to deny him a licence.

“But the test was done by VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. The substance they found in their test is prohibited by them, but under WADA it is allowed out of competition, which is up until the day before the fight.”

In their ruling the Massachusetts commission didn’t make a distinction between what is considered in and out of competition.

“VADA bans everything. They are not recognised in Great Britian, they are not recognised by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and they are not recognised by the British Boxing Board of Control.”

Unfortunately this fight wasn’t set to take place in Great Britain, it was set to take place in the good ol’ U.S. of A. — though Warren said would’ve happily just taken the fight elsewhere if he were promoting the card. But instead Matchroom is at the helm of this promotion and Warren says it better suits promoter Eddie Hearn to keep the fight in Boston where he’ll now only have to pay late replacement Walter Kautondokwa a fraction of what Saunders would’ve earned for the fight.

Happy litigating...

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