Demetrius Andrade Responds To Billy Joe Saunders’ Fight Demands
WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) and WBO Super Middleweight belt-holder Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) have had a long-running beef. For years, they have talked about squaring off.
They were to fight in October of 2018 for Saunders’ then-WBO World Middleweight title. But unfortunately, Saunders failed a VADA test and was subsequently stripped of the title. Andrade went on to capture the vacant title while Saunders moved up to 168-pounds, where he became a two-division world title.
Talk of the two going to war has once again heated up. During an interview with DAZN on January 7, Saunders said he would like to fight Andrade in February. But the 31-year-old from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, wants it under one condition. Andrade must vacate his World Middleweight title and move up to 168.
During a virtual interview with iFL TV on January 8, Andrade replied to Saunders’ demands. The 32-year-old from Providence, Rhode, Island feels no reason to vacate anything.
“I’m not going to do something because Billy Joe says to do it. ‘Oh, vacate and move up to 168’, no. I shouldn’t have to do any of that.
All we have to do is go up to the WBO, the WBO puts me up there, and that’s it, we fight. And if he agrees to make that fight happen, that’s it.
I don’t need to vacate. I don’t know why he’s saying that because at the end of the day, I don’t trust Billy Joe. I vacate my fight and that doesn’t mean I get to fight Billy Joe right away.
If he wants to make the fight happen, let’s just make the fight happen. I don’t know why he’s talking this vacating shit.”
Andrade is clear that he is more than willing to move up in weight. He understands that Saunders is not coming back down to 160. In his view, if the WBO lets him make the fight without relinquishing the belt, there is no issue.
RULES ARE RULES
Some may be critical of Andrade for this stance. However, if Saunders is willing to make conditions, so can he. All is fair when it comes to the business of boxing.
3KingsBoxing talked to the WBO First Vice President, John Duggan. He tells us that because Saunders is at 168-pounds, he is in no position to make demands on what Andrade must do at 160. That determination is made by the WBO.
As he told this reporter, if Andrade has no immediate mandatory obligations, it is within his right to move up and fight for a world title in either a higher or lower division. If Andrade has a mandatory defense upcoming, he can petition the WBO for an exemption to seek another fight.
REASON TO BE SKEPTICAL
Honestly, Saunders has not been the most trustworthy fighter in and out of the ring. Keep in mind, he was at fault for their original fight getting canned in 2018, not Andrade.
It is Saunders whose mouth, on more than one occasion, has gotten him in trouble. There is a long history of him not staying disciplined and tending to business.
Alas, the talk between these two continues. Whether they will ever come to blows is an unknown at this point. The hope is all the chattering will end up with them finally doing battle in the ring.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.