Should Demetrius Andrade leave Eddie Hearn and DAZN?
As expected, WBO middleweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (31-0, 19KO) thrashed Jason “El Animal” Quigley, who emerged as the fifth challenger to his title. It took little to no time for Andrade to find his range and begin dumping the Irishman on the canvas. After two rounds of a one-sided drubbing, Arthur Mercante Jr rode in like the cavalry and waved the bout off. He effectively saved Quigly from further damage.
What was not expected was how the commentating crew undercut Andrade throughout the entire broadcast. Of course they gave him praise for being a top fighter and serious threat. When it came to him obtaining the big fights that he craved however, the crew all had some reason as to why he had to do more. Andrade was the headliner on a card being pushed by his own promoter. Despite this, the DAZN broadcasters basically read all the Andrade hater talking points. In fact, even his promoter, Eddie Hearn, publicly said that Andrade had to do more to get the big fights.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
It was painfully obvious that the broadcasters didn’t want to mention Andrade as a viable candidate to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Undisputed super middleweight champion Alvarez is a media darling and unofficial crown jewel of DAZN and Eddie Hearn. Once a longtime Golden Boy Promotions fighter, the redhead jumped ship to find allegiance with Hearn and DAZN.
He is currently their ‘unofficial’ crown jewel. “Unofficial” because technically he has since gone independent and has no official promoter to speak of. Nevertheless, Eddie Hearn never ceased functioning in that capacity even after he broke apart from DAZN contractually. Therefore, getting on the bad side of Canelo is not something that Hearn is willing to do. Especially with no binding paperwork. While admittedly it’s just this writer’s guess, that is the true reason why Hearn and staff would do anything but entertain an Andrade versus Alvarez bout.
It’s no secret that Canelo has a sharp and distinct disdain for Boo Boo; and why shouldn’t he? The Rhode Island native has pursued him for years. He has done so across going on three divisions and as both, a champion and challenger. Demetrius Andrade has called his name out on social media, to the media, and he’s shown up to an Alvarez press conference. Andrade has even called the redhead a bunch of bitches in a social media tirade. Twice it was Boo Boo who provided a main obstacle preventing Canelo from being undisputed at 154 and 160. All said to say, you would think that the Mexican would just go ahead and fight him. Instead Andrade finds himself blacklisted by Canelo and all his affiliates, which apparently include his own promoter.
WHO’S THE MAN?!
So the question begs to be asked, why stay with a promoter who does not want to get you the biggest fights? If the best fight that he can get is WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, which was suggested at length during the telecast, Boo Boo might as well go to the PBC. It would be easier to make over there and PBC fighters have long had the reputation of receiving nicely swollen paychecks. It is a great fight, after all. Plus, Andrade is already facing a long list of largely unknown foes. He can do that and still get paid ‘across the street.’ At least with the PBC the commentating crew and his own backers will not likely undermine his talent and position in the sport during broadcasts.
Tension seems to be growing between Boo Boo and Hearn, anyhow. While he said it mostly behind a smile, the heat was tangible when, during the post-fight interview, Andrade once again said he’s tired of proving himself. As an undefeated, internationally known, former Olympian and two-division champion, who currently has a belt, what more does he need to do, and why? As he stated live, he expects his promoter to do his job and manufacture the big fights.
It’s not about being an Andrade fan or even thinking that he can beat Canelo or even Charlo. The most pressing point is the fact that Boo Boo is a premium talent whose best years are idly slipping away due to fear and politics. It’s far from a new story. The same could be said about WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr and WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney. Yet, when top guys are flat-out ducking their best fights, those avoiders should be called out on their actions and not given a pass. If you’re the best, prove it. If you’re not, it’ll prove out in the ring. Sounds simple, but sadly, it’s obviously not so black and white in the real world. So, in the end, it looks like Demetrius Andrade has some serious thinking to do.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By: Bakari Simpson