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Demetrius Andrade volunteers to fight Gennady Golovkin on May 5

Canelo Alvarez Demetrius Andrade Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Gennady Golovkin doesn’t have to worry about the need of a replacement opponent if Saul Canelo Alvarez receives a suspension for his 2 failed drug tests next month at his April 10 hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, because undefeated former two-time 154lb world champion Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) has volunteered for the job.

Andrade is a 2008 U.S Olympian and former 2 time world champion at 154, but his career has stagnated due to him failing to get guys like Canelo to fight him when the two were both fighting at 154 at the same time. Andrade has not faced the better fighters at 154 like Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd or the Charlo brothers. It’s unclear if that’s his fault for why none of those fights have taken place.

Andrade recently moved up to 160 last October and beat Alantez Fox by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Andrade said after that he would like to fight Canelo, Golovkin or David Lemieux. Andrade was offered a fight against IBF mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, but thus far that fight hasn’t been made.

“I am undefeated and a two-time world champion. Golovkin went through a period where nobody wanted to fight him. I am that guy now — the man nobody wants to fight,” Andrade said. “Everyone says, ‘What does Demetrius Andrade bring to the table?’ Besides being the best American middleweight, and one of the top three middleweights in the world, everyone knows who I am and they know how good I am.”

What has hurt Andrade is his inactivity. He doesn’t fight enough to keep himself as a relevant fighter. For example, Andrade fought just one time in 2015 and 2016. That’s 2 fights in two years. Andrade’s lack of activity with his career has stalled it out, making him the forgotten man in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. In June 2014, Andrade scored an impressive 7th round knockout win over #1 WBO contender Brian Rose. But then after that, Andrade failed to defend his WBO 154 lb. title for 1-year and was stripped by the World Boxing Organization of the belt. When Andrade did return to the ring, he beat Dario Fabian Pucheta in 2016 and Willie Nelson in 2016. Last year, Andrade finally got his act together and defeated Jack Culcay by a 12 round split decision to win the WBA junior middleweight title in March 2017, and then beat Alantez Fox by a 12 round unanimous decision last October. The lanky 6’1” southpaw Andrade did not good beating Culcay. That was a very hard fight for Andrade, and he was lucky to get the win.

Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) are still currently scheduled to face each other on May 5 on HBO pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a fight that is designed to prove to the boxing public who the better fighter is. The two fighters faced each other last September, and Golovkin looked like the better fighter, but the judges scored it a 12 round split draw. Canelo and Golovkin would still likely be facing each other in a rematch even if one of them had been victorious.

There’s too much money in them facing each other, and there’s no one else in the middleweight division that can bring either of them the same kind of money. Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions realize that, which is why they chose to make the second fight with Golovkin. If this was not a fight, Golden Boy and Canelo likely would have walked away and never given Golovkin a rematch. We saw that with Canelo after his controversial 12 round split decision win over Erislandy Lara in 2014. There wasn’t a lot of interest in the fight from the boxing public, so Canelo moved on ignored the many boxing fans that thought Lara had been robbed of a decision.

“I am ready, willing and able to step to the plate on May 5 to fight Golovkin,” Andrade said. “I am always in the gym and I will start [Voluntary Anti-Doping Association] testing right now. I guarantee that I will pass all the tests. I know other fighters can’t say the same thing.”

That last comment by the 30-year-old former WBA/WBO light middleweight champion Andrade seems to be a shot taken at Canelo, who might be suspended by the Nevada Commission in their next hearing on April 10 for his two failed drug tests for clenbuterol last February. Canelo tested positive on 2 occasions for the banned performance enhancing drug clenbuterol on February 17 and February 20, although he blames his positive tests on having eaten contaminated meat in Mexico.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission basically slapped Canelo on his hands with the temporary suspension they gave to him last week for his two positive drug tests. Those were both urine tests that showed that he had clenbuterol in his system. The suspension might be the only one the popular Canelo receives though, as the Commission will be meeting early next month on April 10 to come to a decision on what to their next move will be. They could decide Canelo’s case just on the levels of the clenbuterol in his system. If they conclude that the levels were low enough to be consistent with him having eaten contaminated meat, then they could clear him.

“My question is to those who say that I don’t bring anything to the table: What did [past Golovkin opponents Martin] Murray, [Osumanu] Adama, [Daniel] Geale, [Willie] Monroe and [Gabriel] Rosado bring to the table? Andrade said. ”None of the top contenders want to fight me, so I believe that if Canelo is unavailable for May 5, I want the opportunity to face Golovkin for the unified middleweight championship of the world,” Andrade said.

Back when Golokin was fighting those guys, he wasn’t as popular as he is now. That was also when there weren’t a lot of top guys for Golovkin to fight at 160 like there is now. Jermall Charlo and Canelo Alvarez both were still fighting at 154. Sergiy Derevyanchenko still hasn’t made a name for himself when Golovkin made those title defenses.

If Canelo is unavailable, Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler will take a stab at getting WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) to agree to a unification fight on May 5. Saunders wants to win the fight through, and he probably won’t agree to step in and face Golovkin on less than 4 weeks’ notice. The Nevada Commission will be deciding Canelo’s case on April 10. Golovkin does not want to move off the May 5th date though. He wants to keep that date, which likely rules out the chance of Saunders being the guy GGG faces on that May 5.

If Saunders doesn’t take the fight, then Golovkin and Loeffler looking at these potential opponents for the May 5th date:

• Demetrius Andrade

• Sergiy Derevyanchenko

• Daniel Jacobs

It could be that Andrade is the only option Golovkin has for his May 5th fight if Canelo is suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 10. Jacobs is fighting on April 28 against Maciej Sulecki. Who knows up with Derevyanchenko. I believe he fights on Showtime, so that rules him out. Golovkin vs. Andrade is not a big fight, but if that’s all that’s available for him on short notice for May 5, then he’ll have to take it.

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