Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade deal reached, purse bid called off
By Jeff Aranow: The management for WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and his mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade has reached a deal for a fight, according to Dan Rafael. The scheduled purse bid has been called off. The date and the venue for the Saunders-Andrade fight is still to be determined, but it’s expected to take place in the U.S.
The unbeaten Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) will need to be a road warrior once again like he was when he traveled to Canada for his last title defense against former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux on December 16, 2017. Saunders easily won that fight by a 12 round unanimous decision.
”Terms agreed to for Saunders vs. Boo Boo Andrade. The 6 p.m. ET purse bid was canceled. Date/site TBA. #boxing,” Rafael said.
The Saunders vs. Andrade fight will likely be shown on DAZN in the U.S, which is why the match will taking place over there. The 30-year-old Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) recently signed with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, who plans on having his fights streamed on DAZN in the States in hopes that American boxing fans will pay $10 per month to subscribe to the service. Andrade vs. Saunders won’t likely interest he casual boxing fans in the U.S. Things could change if Andrade wins the World Boxing Organization 160-pound title from Saunders, because he could then use the belt to lure the belt-hungry Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin to face him in a unification fight if he beats Saul Canelo Alvarez on September 15 in their rematch at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The one thing that could implode the Saunders-Andrade fight is if Saunders suffers an injury and needs to postpone the fight. Saunders has been absolutely undependable when it comes to making title defenses on time since he won the WBO belt in 2015. He’s pulled out of fights on at least three occasions if not four in the last two years. It’s been a major frustration for Saunders’ opponents. Through all this the WBO has been patient with Saunders in choosing not to strip him of his title. If Saunders keeps suffering injuries like he’s been, the WBO is going to need to make up their minds about whether they should strip him of his WBO title and give it to a more durable fighter that can make it through his training camps in one piece without needing to postpone.
The winner of the Saunders vs. Andrade fight has a good chance of fighting Golovkin if he beats Canelo. If Canelo defeats Golovkin, then they’re probably out of luck because he’s more interested in fighting for particular opponents picked out by his promoters at Golden Boy rather than fighting for world titles.