Demond Nicholson Looks To Be ‘DBest@it’ Against ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade



Demond Nicholson Looks To Be ‘DBest@it’ Against ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade

Super middleweight Demond Nicholson faces former WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade on the Gervonta Davis vs. Hector Luis Garcia Showtime PPV

This Saturday, in Washington, D.C., Showtime Boxing kicks off 2023 with a bang as one of boxing’s biggest stars returns to the ring to headline the first PPV of the year. Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (27-0) returns to the DMV area to face the crafty Hector Luis Garcia (16-0). The card features young gunns like Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and Rashidi Ellis, but one of the names which come as a surprise to see is Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade (31-0). He isn’t a young gunn but also hasn’t been as active as fans would like for him to be. While not being able to secure a big name during his time with Matchroom, Andrade has taken his talents to the PBC world to see if he can secure a big fight working with Al Haymon and Showtime.

Although he isn’t headlining the event, Andrade has taken a ‘prove it’ type of fight to show that he is still a premier pugilist. His first fight with Haymon is not an easy one as he faces 29-year-old super middleweight Demond “DBest@it’ Nicholson (26-4-1). Nicholson is a former Olympic alternate who made a name for himself within the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area and was seen in April 2021 on ESPN against Edgar Berlanga (20-0).

Nicholson is a guy who is well-liked within the sport, and because of it, he continues to get opportunities like this one against Andrade. He is grateful for the chance to continue showcasing his skills but also feels that it's part of his destiny to become a world champion one day. That humility is part of who he is as a person but was also magnified when he saw his life flash before his eyes in 2019 when his kidney failed shortly after weighing in for a fight (Click HERE to read that story).

….'Says he's ready,' and has proven that resolve wasn't false bravado

The road to recovery wasn’t easy. Although he is a fighter and wants to return to the ring as soon as possible, Nicholson admitted to rushing the process, which led to thoughts of retiring after the fight with Berlanga. During that fight week, Nicholson was rushed to the hospital as he feared his kidney was about to fail him once again. After being cleared, Nicholson went on to fight Berlanga (who at the time had a 16-for-16 knockout streak going) and took him the distance for the first time in his young career. Nicholson lost the one-sided decision but showed his experience and exposed some flaws within the style of Berlanga, which was later capitalized off of by future opponents.

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Nicholson told NYF, “After the (Edgar) Berlanga fight, I thought about retiring because I was worried my kidney would fail again. My coach Troy Jackson then sent me this research of this doctor saying that when your body has a lack of minerals like potassium, it tends to react with cramps and stuff like that. During the Berlanga fight week, I was rushed to the hospital, and the doctor said I had zero potassium in my body.”

Nicolson continued, “After my kidneys failed, I didn’t get any stoppages. I think I rushed my way back. It takes about twelve months to fully recover from what I went through, but I was back in the gym after five months. Then COVID came, and although I had a break in fights, I was able to get an understanding of why my kidneys failed. When you are getting cramps and mini-strokes without knowing the cause of it, that’s a terrifying thing. After the (Victor) Darocha fight (10-23-21), my coach said he did some research and asked that I take some potassium pills and change my diet. I did that, and in February 2022, I had my first knockout (Gabriel Pham, round five) in three years. It’s time!”

Once Nicholson felt like he was fully back, which included both a knockout and TKO victory in 2022, it was time to call out the biggest fish in the sea, which is David Benavidez (26-0). Most people move away from a storm like Benavidez, but Nicholson ran towards it. The social media call-out intensified, and although it didn’t lead to a fight with Benavidez, Nicholson did receive a message on social media.

It was an invitation from Benavidez to spar rather than a fight. At this point in his career, Nicholson sees himself as more than just a sparring partner and passed on the invitation reserving it for an experience at a place he has never been to.

He felt the social media call-out worked as his name kept coming up in conversations within the boxing world, so he made a post tagging all of the names at super middleweight. The ones that bit were the ones he wanted, and one particular was Jesse Hart (28-3), who he lost to back in 2018. Nicholson said, “I put out a post tagging every super middleweight in the world. The people that bit were the ones that I wanted to fight, and of course, the first one was Jesse Hart. If I couldn’t get the Benavidez fight, I wanted Jesse Hart. The same people working with ‘Boo Boo’ and Showtime are working with Jesse Hart, so I reached out to his team. They said they needed a warm-up, and I was ready to be that so-called warm-up, but the fight didn’t happen. So when ‘Boo Boo’ said he was moving to ’68, I got the call, and here we are.”

Demetrius Andrade and Demond Nicholson pose to hype their Jan. 7, 2023 boxing match

Andrade hasn't lost in the pros. Can Nicholson be his first? Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

So now Nicholson gets the Andrade fight and is getting ready for it. Given Andrade’s profile, the camp was eight weeks, but the approach was much different than what Nicholson has done in the past. Nicholson told NYF, “Normally, camp is about losing weight and doing repetitive drills. I had an eight-week camp, and for the first four weeks, I kept my weight between 178 and 180. In the last four weeks, I just started to knock the weight off. Now, it’s about staying sharp and not beating my body down. I did all my training at my home gym in Laurel, MD, with my coach Troy Jackson. Of course, I’m still Upton (Gym), but my coach Troy (Jackson), Calvin (Ford) and my dad are a combined team. This fight is going to show that combined team that we have.”

This fight isn’t going to be easy, and Andrade will do everything possible to impress those wanting to see what he still has to offer. Nicholson knows he will have to be sharp on Saturday night in order to “get at him and make smart decisions.” But Nicholson also is well aware that Andrade can stink the fight out, so he may have to force the action more than ever. Nicholson said, “He always tries to stink it out (laughs). Unless he knocks someone out, his fights are completely boring. Win, lose or draw; I’ve never had a boring fight. I’m going to make ‘Boo Boo’ fight.”

Let’s certainly hope so, as the first PPV of the year should start with a bang and not a snoozer.

Demond Nicholson will have the opportunity of a lifetime to take that giant leap towards a title shot with a win over Andrade, but it will take every ounce of skill he has to do so. Can Nicholson score the upset in front of a predominantly home crowd? You will have to order the Showtime PPV ($74.99)  or this Saturday night to find out.

You can follow Abe on Twitter @abeg718 and subscribe to “The Boxing Rush Hour Show” podcast on all streaming platforms.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, Abe grew up in a family who were and still are die-hard boxing fans. He started contributing boxing articles to NYF in 2017. Abe through his hard work, has made his way up the ranks and is now the editor at NYFights. He is also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).