Demetrius Andrade waits and waits

Undefeated current WBA "regular" junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (right) connects on Willie Nelson. Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Undefeated current WBA “regular” junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (right) connects on Willie Nelson. Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime


Demetrius Andrade is currently the WBA “regular” champion at 154 pounds. He’s also currently without a fight and he’s feeling quite frustrated.


“From my standpoint and, in my position, it is frustrating when you see guys claiming to be the best fighting tomato cans and celebrating like they beat King Kong,” he admitted to last week. “In my position, I can’t get no tomato cans, If I get a tomato can, I was supposed to win. I was supposed to knock him out. What is he doing fighting this type of guy, etc.?


“I’m willing to put myself out there, as far as taking risks and moving up to 160 to fight someone like David Lemieux, even though I know that’s no walk in the park. That’s what I’m willing to do to really let people know what I’m capable of doing what I believe in. That if I feel I’m the best, then I should be able to get in there and, if somebody else feels the same way – lets see who really is the best, at the end of the day.”


Andrade, 24-0 (16), says he’s willing to take on all comers between 154 and 160 pounds.


“I’ve always been willing to fight the best and that’s all I’ve been asking for. It seems I’m getting blackballed and everybody else is getting these easy fights and I can’t land a fight,” lamented Andrade, who is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Star Boxing. Currently the 154-pound division is filled with boxers advised by Al Haymon.


When asked if he felt certain fighters were hiding behind Haymon, Andrade answered, “Of course, a lot of fighters are hiding behind their advisers, their promoters, their managers, etc. and, looking at it as a business, of course, and putting them in with guys that they should beat and claim they are the best. But yeah, it’s a sad situation because, back in the day, when two people wanted to fight – no matter what the situation was – they made the fight happen.”


Well, throughout the history of boxing, promotional and network allegiances have always hindered fights from becoming a reality and today, more than ever, these hurdles exist. Currently, Andrade is targeting the WBA “super” champion Erislandy Lara, who is represented by Haymon.


Andrade and his team believe they are, in essence, Lara’s mandatory and are pushing for the WBA to enforce this fight for the fall.


But word is Lara prefers to take a stay-busy fight in October against Terrell Gausha (who, not-so-coincidentally, is handled by Mr. Haymon). “If Lara really wanted the fight, he wouldn’t be fighting the person he’s fighting now. But it’s funny because it’s like certain people, Lara, the Charlo brothers (Jermell and Jermall) or anybody in the ’54 division, they were strongly calling out ‘Canelo’ (Saul Alvarez). They were strongly calling out Floyd Mayweather (Jr.) but let somebody call them out.


“They don’t want nothing to do with anything going on over there. I understand the business of fighting Canelo, Mayweather; everybody was calling their name out. They’re not going to waste their time on a regular Joe but, at the end of the day, if I came to your press conference and interrupted and said, “When are we going to make it happen?’ The best you can say is – ‘I’m not the matchmaker’?”


That is precisely what “Boo Boo” did this last December at the Galen Center in Los Angeles after Jermall Charlo successfully defended his IBF super welterweight title against Julian Williams. Thus far, it’s the closest he’s come to either Jermall or Jermell (who holds the WBC 154-pound title).


Andrade simply represents too much risk for not enough reward but some of that is squarely on Andrade himself, who was building solid momentum in 2014 (coming off a knockout of Brian Rose, on HBO, in his first defense of the WBO belt he had won just seven months prior) and was on his way to an appearance on Showtime versus Jermell Charlo before he inexplicably dropped out of that fight, since he had a dalliance with RocNation Sports.


From that point, Andrade’s career has stalled and, since that victory over Rose, he’s fought just three times, which is why he was forced last March to travel to Germany to win the WBA belt against Jack Culcay after being stripped of his WBO title.


Ed Farris, who manages Andrade, explained, “When Demetrius fought Willie Nelson and beat him, I was told by Stephen Espinoza (the head of Showtime Sports), at that time, that he was going to try to make the Lara fight and that Demetrius would be coming back that October. The fight was in June, a year ago. So they told us they were going to put us back in the ring in October – no matter what – and they could get Erislandy Lara. So we agreed to fight him and then we heard back from Showtime that Lara’s side didn’t want the fight. They wanted a tune-up fight first.


“So, at that point, we know Lara was off the table. October came and went. The winter came and went. We got the opportunity to face Jack Culcay. So basically Demetrius went over to fight Culcay for what amounted to about $70,000 and went into the guy’s home country and fought the world champion, just for the purpose of being put in a position for Lara to have to fight him. So, at that point, it was an opportunity for Demetrius to get a title for little or no money – I mean, when you look at your training camp and your expenses – to go overseas and everything. He basically took the fight to be in a position to have to make Lara fight him.”


Andrade squeaked by Culcay in a far-from-impressive outing.


“We came back from Germany and were told that we were going to be made a mandatory in the fall,” said Farris, who vehemently denies any claims that their side, in any fashion, out-priced themselves for the Lara fight. “There was never any monetary amount discussed with Demetrius about fighting Lara or how much that fight would pay,” he stated.


The former U.S. Olympian is now 29 years old, right in the thick of his physical prime but you get the sense that, if they don’t get something significant soon, things will start slipping away.


“The first plan is for Demetrius to fight Lara for the super title,” said a hopeful Artie Pelullo, the head of Banner Promotions. “So I don’t have a Plan B, per se, because I don’t want to go down that road. Right now, we are the mandatory for (Lara). He has to fight us in order to keep his title.”


The colorful Andrade says, “At this point it’s like, shit, if everyone else is getting a tomato can, why not me? Y’know, that’s realistic. Let me get the guy that (Jermall) Charlo just fought at 160 (Jorge Sebastian Heiland), that had one-and-a-half legs. Let me get in there and show them the difference between us two. It took (Charlo) five rounds. I’m going to take him out in two or three.”


On a more serious note, Andrade says his ”fishing rods are out there.”


“All I can see is who’s willing to get in there with me,” he added.





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