Who should Demetrius Andrade target next?
In many ways, there is no denying that WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (30-0, 18 KO’s) is a snake-bitten fighter. The Rhode Island native is a long standing champion, undefeated and one of the best talents in the game. Despite these sterling accolades, Andrade has struggled for years to nab the big time, marquee fight that he has dreamed of.
No one on Earth has chased Canelo Alvarez more than Bob Boo. The tricky southpaw has pursued that bout over two weight classes, as the challenger and the champion! Yet in no situation has he been able to corner the redhead into a showdown. Following Alvarez’s recent win over Billy Joe Saunders, Andrade even crashed the post-fight conference looking for answers. Instead he was only met with hostility and profanity.
So, if none of his fellow belt-holding champions will face him, what should Andrade do next? Obviously he is not ready to hang up the gloves, and fighting mandatories does nothing for his marketability or legacy. Within his current middleweight division, there are two names that seem appealing for his present situation. First up would be Chris Eubank Jr. Sure, Eubank Jr has not exactly set the world on fire, but he has a widely recognizable name. Along with being a well-known figure, Eubank Jr is trained by Roy Jones Jr, which would bring more attention to the match. Eubank Jr is easily more known than Andrade’s last five opponents.
Also at 160, there is regular WBA Middleweight champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara. Lara is fresh off his first round decimation of lamb-led-to-slaughter Thomas Lamanna. Some would argue that Lara is past his sell-by date, but there is no doubt that he is still a very solid opponent. Also, similar to Eubank Jr, there is no denying the name recognition that the American Dream brings to the table.
While Lara holds a secondary title, it is still a title, nonetheless. Ryota Murata has the recognized WBA Super World Middleweight title and is looking to fight IBF Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin sometime in December. Provided that Andrade fought and defeated Lara, perhaps he could use the secondary title, as well as his own, to put further pressure on the winner of Golovkin v Murata, especially since he and the winner would be WBA belt holders.
AFTER THE JUMP
Frustrated with his situation at middleweight, Boo Boo has raised the issue of moving up more than once. Clearly the biggest fight there would be with Alvarez, but Andrade is not any more likely to get that nod now than he was at 154 or 160. The boxer that this writer thinks Andrade should target the hardest is David “Red Flag” Benavidez (24-0, 21 KO’s). Like the previous two boxers, he has great name recognition. Yet, unlike those two, he is still undefeated. The two-time WBC Super Middleweight world champion is also in his prime and widely regarded as one of the best competitors in the 168-pound division.
Benavidez is always hungry for a challenge and is not likely to shy away from a fight with Andrade. Red Flag would probably warmly welcome a fight with the WBO Middleweight champion if the prizefight was presented to him. Benavidez was eagerly looking forward to a potential fight with WBC Middleweight champion Jermall “Iron Man” Charlo before Charlo abruptly stopped showing interest himself.
Given the gusto he had for Iron Man, it is hard to believe that Benavidez would snub a bout with Andrade. If Boo Boo defeated Benavidez, especially in style, this would be a huge feather in his cap. The whole excuse of “who have you fought,” would instantly go up in smoke. Not to mention, he would likely get a great placement in the WBC rankings. Benavidez is currently ranked #2 (WBC) at super middleweight.
Only time will tell what happens next but if Demetrius Andrade wants the super-fights, he is going to have to do something fast!
By: Bakari Simpson