Demetrius Andrade vs. Walter Kautondokwa this Saturday on DAZN
By Jim Dower: Former two-time junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade will be fighting Walter Kautondokwa this Saturday night for the vacant World Boxing Organization 160 lb title that was recently vacated by Billy Joe Saunders last week following his failure to be licensed by the Massachusetts.
Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) and Kautondokwa (17-0, 16 KOs) will be headlining Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn’s card on DAZN at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) was originally supposed to be defending his WBO middleweight title against mandatory challenger Andrade, 30, but he failed a drug test last August in testing positive for oxilofrine during a VADA test, and he was subsequently denied his boxing license by the Massachusetts Commission. Andrade and Hearn wanted Saunders to be the guy that defended the WBO belt, but after his positive test for oxilofrine, it was out of their hands. Hearn says he still wants to make the Andrade-Saunders fight if Andrade defeats Kautondokwa on Saturday. Hearn says Andrade will make his first defense of his WBO title against Saunders. This is a nice gesture by Hearn, as he could make Saunders wait until the WBO orders the Andrade-Saunders fight, which could take years depending on how far the sanctioning body drops him down in the rankings after his positive test. Saunders being able to get an immediate title shot with Andrade in the first half of 2019 would be a huge plus for him in theory.
Andrade vs. Kautondokwa is a fight in which you can’t really know what the outcome is going to be. Despite his high ranking with the WBO, the 33-year-old Kautondokwa is a virtual unknown in the boxing world, as he’s been fighting in his country his entire five-year pro career against weak opposition. Kautondokwa has beaten the guys that has been put in front of him and looked sensational doing it, but you don’t know how he’ll react facing a high caliber fighter like Andrade.
In terms of experience at the pro level, Andrade hasn’t beaten a lot of contenders in his 10-year pro career. For a fighter with the kind of talent that Andrade has going for him, he should have beaten a lot more top tier opposition than he has. Andrade’s best wins in his career have come against these fighters: Vanes Martirosyan, Willie Nelson, Jack Culcay, Brian Rose, Alantex Fox, Dario Fabian Pucheta and Freddy Hernandez. This is all Andrade has to show for himself during his 10-year pro career, and it’s more than a little disappointing. Andrade should have fought a lot more top tier guys than this during his career. Out of that bunch, only Martirosyan and Culcay are considered talented fighters. Moreover, Andrade’s inactivity has been troubling during the last three years of his career. Since 2015, Andrade has fought just four times. The 2012 U.S Olympian Andrade was busy with his career from 2008 to 2015, but as soon as he tasted success, he stopped fighting as much and appeared to be resting on his laurels.
As I pointed out, Kautondokwa has been beating obscure fighters during his career. In his last six fights, Kautondokwa has defeated these fighters: Billi Facundo Godoy, Meshack Mwankemwa, Obodai Sai, Muhamad Sebyala, Chimwemwe Chiotcha and Walter Dlamini. Kautondokwa’s management waited a little long before they finally matched him against his first quality opponent in Andrade. Kautondokwa’s punching power is still formidable enough for him to KO Andrade if he can get to him before he lands his own bombs. Andrade has respectable punching power. If he lands his shots, he could get Kontondokwa out of there early. However, Andrade hasn’t knocked out an opponent early in the last three years since destroying Dario Fabian Pucheta in the 2nd round in October 2015. However, Andrade hasn’t been busy with his career, so he probably would have a lot more knockouts if he’d been busy fighting.
Who wins on Saturday?
Andrade’s size, experience, speed and talent should be more than enough for him to defeat the 33-year-old Kautondokwa in their fight on DAZN. Many boxing fans were picking Andrade to defeat Billy Joe Saunders, and he figured to be a much tougher fight for him than Kautondokwa. However, it’s difficult to know for sure what can happen when you get a puncher llike Kautondokwa in the ring with a guy that hasn’t been preparing for his style. Andrade has spent training camp getting ready for the southpaw Saunders. It was only last week that Kautondokwa was brought in as a replacement for Saunders. Only being able to train for a little more than a couple of weeks is going to make it tough for Andrade. With Kautondokwa, he only needs to land one of his big shots on the button for him to knockout Andrade. That’s the thing about this fight that is going to make it hard on Andrade. It doesn’t matter how much experience he has. If Kautondokwa lands something big, he’s going to hurt him and potentially finish him off.