By: Hans Themistode
No matter what WBO Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade does, he just can’t seem to catch a break.
On Thursday night at the Meridan at Island Gardens in Miami Florida, Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) will look to defend his title for the third time against Luke Keeler. But no one seems to care.
Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KOs) is a relative unknown that won’t draw much of an interest from the public. Andrade on the other hand, shares the same boat as Keeler, although he shouldn’t.
For years, everyone around the sport of boxing has said the same thing whenever they have gotten the chance to see Andrade fight. “He’s as good as anyone out there.”
There’s no denying those words, yet, it seems as though Andrade has never gotten the chance to prove it.
There is a funny story about Andrade. One that fully encapsulates his greatness and his frustrations.
Years ago, before Andrade became an undefeated two division world champion, he was a young amateur with a lot of promise. The amateur scene is a much different one when compared to the professional landscape. Fighters aren’t allowed to avoid and skip over certain fighters. Instead, once you’re coming up the ranks, you have to face everyone.
While Andrade was attempting to make a name for himself in the unpaid ranks, there was someone else on the scene that was already well established. Daniel Jacobs. Before Jacobs would go on to become a two time Middleweight champion, he was widely viewed as the best amateur in the world.
Whenever the word “best” isn’t associated with Andrade, he wants to test that theory. When the two men met in the ring, it was supposed to be a one sided beating coming from the hands of Jacobs. Yet, it was Jacobs who came up on the losing end of that contest.
“Boo Boo is a beast,” said trainer Andre Rozier during a recent interview. “He can beat anybody. He beat Jacobs in the amateurs when Jacobs was the guy and Boo Boo has only gotten better since then. There’s a reason why not a lot of people want to fight him.”
What should have been a springboard for the career of Andrade, has only set a depressing downward trend. Simply put, no one wants to fight him.
As we wait on Andrade to make another seemingly meaningless defense of his title, with the hopes of enticing someone with a big name to face him in his next ring appearance, Andrade simply sits back and watches the landscape of the Middleweight division. That landscape currently holds several big names including Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin (GGG) but even with the status they currently hold, Andrade doesn’t expect any of them to start calling.
“It takes two to tango,” said Andrade. “Why can’t we make a Billy Joe fight? As far as Canelo and GGG they have to want to do it.”
At this point, don’t ask Andrade if he believes he is an avoided fighter. He will simply turn his head sideways and and give you an outrageous look.
“It’s kind of clear. I don’t have to say it anymore. I don’t need to knock on people’s doors to make a fight. Clearly there is nobody willing and able to come and fight me for my belt.”
While, no one of note is willing to fight him, Andrade, at least for now, will just have to keep his focus on the opponents they place in front of him. They may not be the names that most fans want to hear but at some point the super stars in the division will come calling, and Andrade will undoubtedly answer.