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Billy Joe Saunders, Demetrius Andrade ordered to begin negotiations

The fight has been ordered, but whether or not it actually happens is way up in the air.

Boxing at Copper Box Arena Photo by Leigh Dawney/Getty Images

WBO middleweight titleholder Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade may (or may not) be headed for a fight, with negotiations ordered on Thursday by the sanctioning body.

Saunders (26-0, 12 KO) hasn’t fought since December, when he went to Canada and routed David Lemieux. It was a buzz-creating win for Saunders, and one he’s taken zero advantage of in 2018, twice calling off fights with Martin Murray, the latter time many believe in the hopes of landing a fight with Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin, which fell apart when those two finally made a deal for their September rematch.

There’s also been talk recently of Saunders, 28, moving up to super middleweight to face James DeGale. DeGale recently vacated his IBF title after being ordered to face Jose Uzcategui, and there’s a chance we could see Saunders do the same with his WBO belt if that fight is indeed going to happen.

In theory, Andrade (25-0, 16 KO) is a good opponent for Saunders. The 30-year-old American is a former titleholder at 154 and has the skills to compete at 160, but he’s done so just once since moving up, a win over Alantez Fox last October.

Recently, Andrade bought out the remainder of his promotional contract, so he’s a free agent at the moment.

The two sides have 10 days to come to an agreement, or a purse bid will be ordered.

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