After Billy Joe Saunders was denied a license to fight Demetrius Andrade on October 20, Walter Kautondokwa received the opportunity of a lifetime to face Andrade.
Matchroom Boxing officially announced that Kautondokwa will be Saunders' replacement for the main event of the October 20 card in Boston that will be streamed on DAZN. Not only will Kautondokwa be making his U.S. debut when he faces Andrade, but he will fight for the interim WBO middleweight title, potentially the full world title by the time the two men enter the ring.
Coming in as an opponent for a former world champion and top middleweight contender on less than two weeks' notice is tough for anyone, but Kautondokwa believes that he'll be able to knock out Andrade. Kautondokwa, sporting a 17-0 record with 16 of those victories coming via knockout, is the WBO's No. 2 middleweight and believes that he has such a different style to Saunders, that Andrade will not be able to adjust in time to handle Kautondokwa.
In a press release, Kautondokwa said he earned a chance to be in this position to fight in a title.
"I’ve earned my spot as the number two challenger in the division and I fear no man – Demetrius is a great fighter, but I know that I can KO any 160-pounder in the world, and that includes Andrade. He’s been preparing for Billy Joe, who is a technical guy that doesn’t have power – I am going to be a nightmare for him next Saturday night and I am ready to become a major player in the Middleweight division,” Kautondokwa said.
Kautondokwa got his shot at Andrade after Saunders tested positive for oxilofrine some time ago and was denied a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission. This left Andrade without an opponent and Kautondokwa came in as a replacement. The fight could potentially be for the full WBO middleweight pending the results of an appeal by Saunders to the WBO to avoid getting stripped of the title.
Strangely enough, Kautondokwa isn't the first 33-year-old undefeated fighter from Namibia to fight for a title in a foreign nation in recent years. Back in 2016, Julius Indongo was in the same position when he faced then-IBF junior welterweight champion Eduard Troyanovsky. Indongo shocked the boxing world by knocking Troyanovsky out in 40 seconds to win his first world title and enjoyed an eight-and-a-half month-long reign as the IBF champion and in that span, Indongo became a unified champion when he added the WBA world title.
The fight will be part of Matchroom's second U.S. card in the DAZN era and that card will include two more world title fights, including Tevin Farmer's first super featherweight title defense and Katie Taylor's unified women's lightweight title defense against Cindy Serrano.