Boxing exclusive: Frank Warren says Billy Joe Saunders will sue over cancelled USA fight and slams Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom

2 weeks ago
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PROMOTER WARS

The English fighter is taking his case to the Supreme Court, after he was denied a boxing licence over a controversial drugs test

Frank Warren has revealed to talkSPORT Billy Joe Saunders plans to sue for loss of earnings after being ‘unfairly’ denied a licence for his planned title fight against Demetrius Andrade.

The promoter has also blasted rival Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport, accusing them of deliberately remaining ‘neutral’ about the decision to financially gain from Saunders’ predicament.

Frank Warren spoke exclusively to talkSPORT on Thursday morning

Frank Warren spoke exclusively to talkSPORT on Thursday morning

The 29-year-old was scheduled to defend his WBO middleweight world title against Andrade – represented by Hearn – on October 20 in Boston.

However, the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission have refused to sanction the bout after Saunders failed a voluntary drugs test.

But Warren has called foul play on the decision, insisting the stimulant oxilofrine – claimed to be from a nasal spray – is allowed out of competition and that Saunders has subsequently tested clean several times since.

The promoter has now told talkSPORT Saunders will take his case to the Supreme Court and is planning to sue for a loss on income, with reports claiming he has missed out on a multi-million dollar payday as a result of the decision.

Speaking on Thursday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Warren explained: “The Massachusetts State Athletic commission, whose jurisdiction the fight takes place under, at their hearing yesterday they had said they had grounds for denial of his application for a license.

Saunders could now be stripped of his WBO middleweight title

Saunders could now be stripped of his WBO middleweight title

“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.

“It was a nasal spray!

“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.

“Massachusetts have not even applied their own disciplinary regulations correctly, so obviously Bill will appeal and the appeal will go to the Supreme Court. He will be suing them for any loss of earnings.

“The tests they are referring to took place in August, but since then Bill has had subsequent tests which have all come back negative. It’s ridiculous. It’s stupid where we are at with this.

“If the fight was taking place in the UK, it wouldn’t be a problem.

“Can we take it somewhere else? I would if I was the promoter, but I’m not, the promoter is Matchroom.

Warren has slammed Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport

Warren has slammed Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport

“Their fighter is Andrade who is challenging, so they want to keep it there because it keeps Bill out.

“It stops Bill from getting paid quite a substantial purse and they can bring this guy in from Africa [Namibian fighter Walter Kautondokwa has replaced Saunders for the fight, which is going ahead in Boston] who they are probably paying $ 100,000, so it suits them financially.

“They have said publicly they were supporting Bill and they wanted the fight, yet I’ve got a letter from them privately saying they were going to be neutral on the position.

“From a business perspective I see where they are at, but it’s not fair on Billy Joe Saunders that he has defended his title three or four times and he’s in this position.”

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Boxing – talkSPORT

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