WBO World Title Bout Saunders vs. Andrade is Official

The fight that many people in boxing didn’t think would happen is now a reality: Billy Joe Saunders will defend his WBO middleweight title against former junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade in the fall.

The respective promoters, Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn, came to an agreement Wednesday just before a purse bid for the fight was set to take place.

Hearn told ESPN that the fight “looks like” it will occur Oct. 20 on the East Coast, since Andrade is from Rhode Island. Hearn originally earmarked that date for an event in Los Angeles. Saunders, from England, would be fighting in the U.S. for the first time.

A purse bid was scheduled for 5 p.m. ET Wednesday but was canceled when the WBO was informed Warren and Hearn had reached an agreement. The two rival promoters from England rarely conduct an event together, so the expectation was the fight would put up for bid, in which Saunders would receive 70 percent of the highest bid.