Demetrius Andrade Should Be A Big Star Already



Demetrius Andrade Should Be A Big Star Already

In an era where the proliferation of world titles has steadily increased with the frequent use of interim, regular, and “super” titles and a wider array of platforms to perform on than ever before, it would seem that someone as talented as Providence, Rhode Island's Demetrius Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) would be a big star in today's boxing climate.

But talent isn't the only ingredient to making a star in boxing. Marketing and the team behind you guiding your decisions are critical; one false move can make or break your career's direction.

After 15 years as a professional, at 35, “Boo Boo” Andrade has finally found himself in the most important fight of his career when he faces David Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) on Saturday, November 25 for the WBC super middleweight championship.

Andrade is aware that he is in the final act of his time in the squared circle, and another opportunity arising is less than likely if he doesn't walk away with his hands raised in victory.

Demetrius Andrade Lays Out the Stakes

“This is definitely like the Super Bowl,” Andrade told Brian Custer on The Last Stand podcast. “This is definitely it right here. Listen, every fight matters. Every fight I had that led me to this point. Every fight gave me the lessons, the learning, and opportunities to move forward in my career and get myself better.

“But this fight here is really going to bring the best Andrade out because I know what's on the line. There's a lot on the line here,” added Andrade.

The question many may find themselves asking is why it took Andrade so long to get to this point.

Did every prominent fighter avoid him in every weight class he fought in?

Or did a series of unfortunate events, including lousy promotion and the decision to stay inactive, lead him down a path that resulted in a slow burn of a career? More than one thing can be true, and some more than others.

Andrade drops Kautondoka, in 2018

Demetrius Andrade drops Walter Kautondokwa in their bout for the vacant WBO middleweight championship at the TD Garden in Boston. Photo: Matt Heasley/Matchroom Boxing USA

It's Sometimes A Matter of Supply and Demand

Investopedia's explanation of the law of supply “relates price changes for a product with the quantity supplied, and the higher the price, the higher the quantity supplied.”

In the case of Demetrius Andrade, there seemed never to be enough of a supply of him, or in boxing terms, he hasn't been the most active fighter.

Over the last decade, Demetrius Andrade has been relegated to fighting the atypical once or twice a year. The last time he fought more than twice was in 2012.

From 2013 to 2023, Demetrius Andrade stepped into the ring once in five of those ten years and didn't fight at all in 2022.

Some of the inactivity can be attributed to the inability of his promoters over the years to get him meaningful fights. But, the lack of time in the ring was partly based on his own decisions that turned out to be the wrong ones.

Boo Boo Goes With Artie and Joe

Coming out of the amateurs, Andrade was viewed as a top-tier prospect destined for greatness. While he had many promotional suitors, he chose to sign with Joe DeGuardia Star Boxing and Artie Pelullo's Banner Promotions, who offered him a signing bonus of $300,000.

Demetrius Andrade won the vacant WBO junior middleweight title in a tightly contested match with Vanes Martirosyan. He dropped the former Olympian in the first round before ultimately winning a split decision.

There came a successful title defense against Brian Rose. An opportunity emerged for Andrade to defend his title against Jermell Charlo. The fight was scheduled to take place on December 13, 2014, for Andrade's WBO title.

This wasn't the Charlo of today, who was an undisputed champion. It was Andrade who would be giving Charlo a shot in a high-profile match.

Andrade was set to receive a career-high amount of $550,000, including a three-fight deal to fight on Showtime.

However, the allure of failed new-coming promoter Roc Nation Sports offering Andrade career-high paydays and a chance to fight on HBO by buying out his contract with his current promoters turned out to be a crucial mistake as the deal never came to fruition-leading to a lawsuit and the first extended spell of inactivity for the former Olympian.

Inactivity Has Been An Issue

Due to that inactivity, Andrade would be stripped of his WBO title and wouldn't step back in the ring for 16 months.

A chance to move up to challenge Matt Korobov for the vacant WBO middleweight title was turned down by Andrade and his team to continue fighting at junior middleweight.

In this time frame between 2015 and 2018, both Charlo brothers, Jermell and Jermall and Erislandy Lara, all held titles at 154 pounds.

Andrade was relegated to fighting just once in both 2015 and 2016.

His performance against Willie Nelson was his best showing and a general message to the rest of the division.

In lieu of a fight with any of the other titleholders, Andrade would travel to Germany to take on former amateur rival Jack Culcay in March 2017.

In a less-than-stellar showing, Andrade was fortunate to win a close split decision for the ‘Regular' version of the WBA junior middleweight title.

At this point in Andrade's career, he stood in place, spinning his wheels without any advancement. He was making what became annual appearances in the ring, each time against opponents that didn't garner him mainstream attention or put him in a position to challenge the elite of his division.

“He signed with Joe Deguardia and Artie Pelullo because they offered him $300,000 to sign as a signing bonus,” stated former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi on ProBox TV.

“And he took the money instead of going with the bigger promoters. That ended up hurting him more than anything else because now you're with promoters that have no dates. You're not getting a big platform to fight on and showcase yourself. Now you're getting a reputation for being too dangerous. But not known enough because you've gone with a promoter that hasn't made you known enough and didn't have the ability to make you known enough.”

While Malignaggi took the position that Andrade's promotional circumstances were the most significant factor that constantly held back the Rhode Island native, Hall-of-Famer Timothy Bradley put more of an emphasis on Andrade's decisions to forgo taking certain fights.

“I think that Boo Boo wasted a lot of time early on chasing the bag instead of building his brand,” Bradley said on ProBox TV. “Sometimes, you have to bet on yourself. Sometimes, we look at the money like it's the only thing that we need. Position yourself, build your brand, and showcase your skills and talent. Because if you're that good, you shouldn't have a problem beating these guys early on.”

Defining ‘Law of Demand'

Investopedia states that the law of demand “holds that demand for a product changes inversely to its price; the higher the price, the lower the level of demand.” The price here is the risk one takes in fighting Andrade, with the demand only coming from the hardcore boxing fan.

Boxing is often labeled as having a fanbase that is the hardest to please. Boxing fans can be ruthless with their criticism, and on a fight-to-fight basis, you can be one of the best pound-for-pound or overrated.

But, it has been those same boxing fans who argue on social media and in the YouTube comments section that have been Andrade's most vocal supporters.

Throughout the last decade, Andrade has been consistently brought up by fans as the next opponent for fighters such as Gennadiy Golovkin, Jermall Charlo, and, most famously, Canelo Alvarez.

So, when Andrade signed with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing in 2018, the prevailing thought was that he would finally get the opportunity to test his skills against a top-tier opponent as Golovkin and Alvarez were both associated with the promotion. However, it turned out to be more of the same.

Demetrius Andrade To Matchroom Didn't Play Out As Hoped

In 2018, Demetrius Andrade was set to take on Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO middleweight title at the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. This time, it wasn't a dispute over money that prevented the match from happening; instead, Saunders tested positive for the banned substance Oxilofrine.

After being denied a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, Saunders would vacate the title.

Demetrius Andrade captured the vacant title, winning a decision over Walter Kautondokwa.

The southpaw went on to make five defenses of the WBO title but never came close to securing a fight with either Alvarez or Golovkin. Even his mandatory challenger, Jaime Munguia, never forced his mandatory status.

The two's only public encounter was ironically in the post-fight press conference after Alvarez's victory over Saunders in 2021. Clearly, Matchroom wasn't going to do anything that could damage their relationship with Alvarez, thus allowing the Mexican champion to thrash Andrade verbally.

“Man, you fight with nobody,” Alvarez lambasted at Andrade. “You're never going to get the fight, man. You are a horrible fighter.”

The level of hypocrisy isn't lost on anyone here. The truth is that Andrade was too high risk for a fighter like Alvarez to consider unless a considerable reward was at stake other than the respect of hardcore boxing fans.

While Andrade has his battles with inactivity and, at times, inconsistent performances that change from fight to fight and at times during fights, the fact is he remains a threat.

In boxing, you only have to be better on one night. Due to his style and extended experience, fighting Andrade isn't a worthwhile proposition for some fighters.

“At the end of the day, my hat goes off to Canelo's career; he does what he does, and he has the luxury to do whatever he wants,” Demetrius Andrade told Brian Custer.

“You can't tell me to fight somebody, and I can name a bunch of fighters you fought that have fought nobody. Rocky Fielding. Avril Yildrim. Ryder. Ryder and these guys might be tough fighters, some may not be, but that doesn't matter when you know my pedigree as an Olympian, when you know my pedigree as a world champion when you know my pedigree as I can box your ears off. You can't make two dogs fight if they don't want it.”

Other Side of the Street Search Continues

Demetrius Andrade ended his tenure under Matchroom Boxing in 2022 and, after 14 months out of the ring, returned at super middleweight in January 2023.

The end of the relationship seemed inevitable but mutual.

“We've worked very well together, he's made a lot of money, we've kept him active,” promoter Eddie Hearn said to FightHype. “But I can't deliver him the fight that he needs, and if I can't deliver, he should look elsewhere.”

Fortunately for Andrade, he found an opponent in Benavidez willing to face him.

All bad decisions, promotional issues, inactivity, and more will go by the wayside if Andrade can pull the upset over the younger Benavidez.

The stage will be the biggest he will have fought on with the highest stakes. It's now his chance to prove naysayers wrong who never felt he was as good as his reputation, but more importantly, make the final chapter of his story the most memorable.

“He has all the facets to give David a horrible night in the office,” Andrade's trainer, Andre Rozier, said to FightHub TV. “And that's what's going to happen. Andrade will stake his claim to be the next one to box against Canelo, and he's going to show his greatness.”

Demetrius Andrade

Andrade exults after beating Akavov. The celebration if he beats Benavidez will be major, major league

This is the moment that Andrade has been waiting for. It's as big as it's going to get should he lose. All the skills and hyperbole surrounding Andrade since the amateurs won't matter if he fails against Benavidez.

No, this fight is not taking place with Andrade at his peak in his prime or when he is at his most active, but at this point, those factors will have to be put on the back burner.

Not only will a victory be necessary, but the manner in which Andrade wins also matters.

A dominant performance will go a long way in pushing Demetrius Andrade closer to the top of the sport. Barring any controversy, should Benavidez vanquish Andrade here, the demand to see him finally get his shot will come to an end.

“I understand that it is bigger than me,” said Demetrius Andrade. “Everybody's going to get their piece of greatness once it's all said and done.”