Demetrius Andrade was never going to get a Saunders fight
On February 27, the boxing community was buzzing with the official announcement of unified super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (55-1-2, 37ko) taking on WBO champion ‘Superb’ Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14ko).
This was huge news. The winner will be one fight away from being the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion. However, it proved why WBO Middleweight champion Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade (29-0, 18ko) was correct in not trusting Saunders.
A CAREER OF UPS AND DOWNS
Andrade’s early career is full of bad decisions, promotional issues, and inactivity. He captured his first world title back in 2013 by defeating top undefeated junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan. However, fans constantly bring up when the talented champion pulled out of a high-profile fight with then challenger Jermell Charlo back in 2014. What goes unspoken is Boo Boo was unhappy with the purse. At the time, he had issues with his promotional company, Banner Promotions.
The Rhode Island boxer made another bad decision In 2016.,He oddly re-signed to Banner Promotions, the same promotional company he claimed was killing his career. Also, he fought once per year in 2014, 2015, and 2016 which pushed him even further to the back of the line in boxing.
THE FIGHT THAT NEVER HAPPENED
In 2018, the 2008 Olympian signed with British promoter Eddie Hearn for the new DAZN American start-up. He also moved up in weight to take on then WBO Middleweight champion Saunders.
The fight would fall through when the Saunders tested positive for oxilofrine, which is acceptable to take in the United Kingdom. The issue was the test was coming from VADA, which has the aforementioned drug listed as banned.
Saunders would vacate the title by moving up to super middleweight and put the fight with Andrade in the rearview. The former 2008 Olympian would go on to defeat Walter Kautondokwa for the vacant WBO Middleweight crown. However, he continued calling out the British champion every chance he could get.
There was a time when the two were attacking each other on social media and it ended with Andrade reminding the British champion of the nasal spray incident that registered a failed drug test.
YOU’VE BURNED ONCE BEFORE
It looked like they would finally step into the ring. That was until Superb decided to through a stipulation into the mix that had pundits puzzled. For some odd reason, the WBO Super Middleweight champion wanted Andrade to drop his WBO Middleweight title first. This was an unusual request that made absolutely no sense.
3kingsboxing talked to WBO Vice President John Duggan. He told us that because Saunders is at 168 pounds, he is in no position to make demands on Andrade’s 160-pound title.
The WBO champion followed up by saying he does not trust Saunders to keep his word. Well, it seems that feeling was correct, given the recent news of the unification mega-fight between Saunders and boxing’s biggest earner, Canelo Alvarez. Many pundits believe the fight was already in place long before the announcement and team Canelo was waiting until after the WBC mandatory fight against Anvi Yildirim before making it official.
Andrade would have been left holding the bag, because there is no way Saunders was going to jeopardize a huge money fight with Canelo for a dangerous and less lucrative fight against Boo Boo. Even with the WBO rules of former champions being able to move up and immediately be placed into the mandatory position, the problem is a unification fight supersedes any mandatory challenge.
In conclusion, Andrade definitely had every reason to give Saunders the side-eye on his ridiculous demand and keep it moving.
By: Garrisson Bland