WATCH: Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade press conference LIVE STREAM
By Jeff Aranow: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade will have their first press conference this Friday, August 25 in Boston to announce their fight on October 20 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
The fight will be streamed on DAZN, the new platform for Matchroom Boxing USA. Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) will be defending his World Boxing Organization middleweight title against his WBO ordered mandatory challenger Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs). The WBO have finally clamped down hard on the often-injured Saunders by ordering him to defend against former WBA/WBO 154 pound champion Andrade.
Up until now, the WBO has made it easy on Saunders by letting him face beatable opposition instead of someone that has a chance of beating him. Andrade vs. Saunders is a 50-50 fight. On paper, this is easily the toughest fight of Saunders three-year reign as the WBO 160 pound champion. Up to now, Saunders has successfully defended his WBO belt three times in beating David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr. and Artur Akavov. Saunders had two title defenses canceled against Max Bursak and Martin Murray.
This is going to be the 28-year-old Saunder’s first tough fight of his career, and it’s unclear whether he has enough talent to win the fight. In the past, Saunders has used his southpaw stance and superior size to beat his smaller, slower opposition. Saunders revels at beating limited fighters like Lemieux, Monroe Jr., Chris Eubank Jr. and Andy Lee. Those are guys that he should have been able to beat. In some cases, Saunders barely beat them and won controversial decisions.
Saunders’ win over Lee was a highly questionable one, as it was a close enough fight to be considered a draw. Saunders’ victories over Eubank Jr. and Akavov were fights that could have gone the other way. Certainly the Akavov fight is one that should have gone against the out of shape looking Saunders, who admitted afterwards that he stunk the place out.
It’s important that Saunders get the victory over the 30-year-old Andrade, because a loss against him would ruin his dreams of fighting middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. That’s a fight that Saunders has been salivating over for the last couple of years. The Golovkin vs. Saunders fight hasn’t happened for many reasons. The good news is that if Saunders beats Andrade, he’s got a good chance of facing the winner of the Golovkin vs. Saul Canelo Alvarez fight.
Lemieux is in a better position than Saunders to get a fight against Canelo Alvarez. It doesn’t matter that Saunders beat Lemieux by an impressive 12 round unanimous decision last December. Lemieux is facing Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan on the Canelo-Golovkin II undercard on September 15 on HBO PPV. Lemieux is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, which puts him in a better position to get the Canelo fight. Saunders has a better shot at fighting Golovkin if he beats Canelo.
”David wants to make a statement,” said Lemieux’s co-promoter Camille Estephan via RingTV.com. ”Not taking O’Sullivan lightly, he wants to take care of the O’Sullivan business, then go after Canelo! As well he wants to rematch with ‘GGG.’ He is healthy now, feeling very confident!”
Golden Boy President Eric Gomez also makes it clear that the winner of the Lemieux vs. O’Sullivan fight has a good chance to fight Canelo. Saunders unfortunately doesn’t seem to be in the picture for Canelo. He can fight Golovkin, but that fight only makes sense if the Kazakhstan fighter beats Canelo in their rematch on September 15. For things to work out in Saunders’ favor, he needs to beat Andrade on October 20, and then Golovkin must beat Canelo. Golovkin stands a better chance of beating Canelo than Saunders does in defeating Andrade.