Demetrius Andrade, nickname Boo Boo, virtually grew up in a boxing gym, like so many other top level pugilists.
The 35 year old fighter, of Cape Verdean descent, has been around the sport of boxing since he was four years old. His father Paul began regularly training him at six years old in his gym.
Demetrius, who gets a career best opportunity in the form of foe David Benavidez Saturday night, played a bit of football as a young kid but was drawn more to the squared circle where he didn’t have to depend on anyone else but himself to get the job done.
His amateur career was nothing short of stellar. The more tournaments the left-hander competed in, the more people began to pay attention to him.
In 2002, Andrade, who will mix it upon Showtime PPV Nov. 25, won a gold medal at the National Silver Gloves Championships and was formally introduced to the American amateur boxing scene.
As the years went by, he became regarded as a phenom by anyone fortunate enough to watch him compete.
He went on to win US amateur titles in 2005 and 2006, and a National Golden Gloves Championship in 2006.
Words Spreads on the New England Talent
2007 was the year that everyone realized the hype around Demetrius was more than justified, and that he had a great chance at making noise in the 2008 Olympics if he were to qualify.
Andrade won his second straight National Golden Gloves Championship, picked up a silver medal at the Pan American Games, and joined Rau’Shee Warren as the first American boxers to win gold medals at the 2007 World Boxing Championships since 1999.
Andrade would go 4-0 with two stoppage wins in the 2007 US Olympic Trials, defeating Keith Thurman in the finals by a score of 21-13.
In the 2008 Olympic Games, Boo Boo won his first two matchups but then fell in the quarterfinals to Korean Kim Jung-Joo via a controversial decision.
Boo Boo would begin his professional career with a second-round TKO over Patrick Cape in October of 2008.
He would get his first world title opportunity in November of 2013 when he matched up with fellow undefeated contender Vanes Mantirosyan.
Andrade was knocked down in the first round but would control the action for the majority of the bout and come home with a decision win and the WBO 154 lb title.
Unfortunately, the rest of his career has not gone according to the script many predicted that it would have and he has yet to claim a real career-defining victory.
Demetrius Andrade Career Momentum Stalls
After a successful title defense, Andrade was scheduled to defend against top-ranked challenger Jermell Charlo in December of 2014.
A month before the fight, he withdrew from the bout over a purse disagreement and signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
After he was advised to decline a three-fight contract from Showtime which included the Charlo fight, Roc Nation was unable to secure him any sort of deal, and this resulted in Andrade filing a lawsuit against them in August of 2015.
As a result of being inactive dealing with the lawsuit, Andrade was stripped by the WBO of his title.
Following a quick knockout win, Demetrius Andrade would pick up two solid victories against Willie Nelson and Jack Culcay.
Nelson had knocked out Tony Harrison the year before but suffered a much different fate in this one, being dropped four times before the one-sided beatdown was called off halfway through the twelfth round.
Boo Boo then traveled to enemy territory to fight Jack Culcay in his home country of Germany for his WBA “regular” 154lb title.
Andrade wound up winning a decision and decided to make the move up to the middleweight division.
He vacated his WBA title and made his debut at middleweight against Alantez Fox in October of 2017.
Demetrius Andrade was victorious in that fight via a unanimous decision and set his sights on challenging Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO middleweight title.
BJ Saunders Messes Up Demetrius Andrade Career Progression
The Saunders fight was the type of fight that Demetrius Andrade and his supporters had been longing for. It gave him the opportunity to become a two-division world champion and to defeat a well-respected reigning world champion.
The problem is that the fight never came to fruition.
Saunders tested positive for a banned substance, and Andrade would go on to fight Walter Kautondokwa for the vacant title in October of 2018.
He showed that there was a significant gap in skills between the two fighters, scoring four knockdowns en route to a wide unanimous decision victory.
Now with Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing) and upstart network DAZN, it seemed that Demetrius Andrade was in a good position to land the big fights that he had been unable to thus far.
DAZN also had ties with Daniel Jacobs, Gennadiy Golovkin, and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, but none of those fights ever materialized.
As a result of not being able to secure a big fight, Andrade would make five unheralded defenses, (Artur Akavov, Maciej Sulecki, Luke Keeler, Liam Williams, Jason Quigley) of the middleweight crown before recently vacating that title to move up in weight to the super middleweight division.
EIC Michael Woods noted the timing seemed right for a step up career definer bout for Demetrius Andrade.
Boo Boo linked up with Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions late in 2022. He made his debut in the 168lb division against Demond Nicholson in January of this year, a fight he scored two knockdowns in and won via shutout on the scorecards.
This was the perfect decision for Demetrius Andrade at this point in his career. In his mid-thirties, it’s now or never for one of boxing’s most talented fighters to reach his full potential and be in big-time fights.
Now at 35 years of age, Andrade finally has that marquee fight.
This Saturday night he will square off against two-time super middleweight champion David Benavidez on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
Andrade’s attributes, being an awkward, athletic, 6’1” southpaw with a 73.5” reach have made him tough to beat and definitely factor into his inability to get big fights to this point.
At 35 and in his third weight class, does Demetrius Andrade still have the legs and athleticism necessary to keep an offensive machine like Benavidez, who’s bigger, stronger, and younger at bay for 12 rounds?
Anyone who has shared the ring with Demetrius Andrade either in the amateurs, pros, or in camp can’t possibly speak more highly about his ability.
They all swear up and down that he has the chance to beat anyone in the world at or around his weight.
For someone who many believed had the potential to become a Hall of Fame boxer, I really hope that Demetrius Andrade can capitalize on the end of his career and ultimately earn the respect that he deserves from the boxing world.