IN a surprise declaration on social media, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that he has agreed terms for Demetrius Andrade to challenge Billy Joe Saunders for the latter’s WBO middleweight world championship.

Andrade, a former world champion at super-welter, is Saunders’ mandatory challenger. Andrade is one the first signings for Hearn’s new Matchroom USA operation and will be boxing on the DAZN streaming service in the USA.

The bout was due to go to purse bids but now an agreement has been reached, with the contest set to take place in America.

It seemed like it would be a difficult deal to complete, given that Saunders is promoted by Frank Warren, Hearn’s arch-rival. But the two sides have put the fight together. “Purse bid called off, delighted to reach a deal for Billy Joe Saunders to defend his WBO world middleweight title against Demetrius Andrade in America,” Frank Warren stated on social media. “Bring that belt home. And still.”

Billy Joe Saunders

Saunders was more blunt. “Earn with Hearn,” he wrote. “Your man is getting spanked. School time.”