Demetrius Andrade vs. Walter Kautondokwa – Weigh-in results
By Sean McDaniel: Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) weighed in at 160 pounds on Friday for his fight against unbeaten Walter Kautondokwa (17-0, 16 KOs) for their contest for the vacant World Boxing Organization middleweight title on Saturday at TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Kautondokwa is the replacement opponent for Billy Joe Saunders.
Andrade’s opponent 33-year-old Kautondokwa weighed in at 158.4 lbs. During the face off, Kautondokwa looked to be the taller fighter than 6’1” Andrade, who is usually taller than his opponents. In recent years, the only guy that was taller than Andrade ws the 6’3” Willie Nelson in their fight in June 2016. Andrade had little problems in knocking out the lanky, hard-hitting Nelson in the 12th round after dropping him four times in the fight.
In the case of Kautondokwa, we don’t know how good he is because he’s never fought anyone that you can call a good fighter during his career since turning pro in 2010. Kautondokwa’s management has been taking it easy on him, matching him against tune-up level opposition of the type that you often see with young prospects. The 33-year-old Kautondokwa isn’t young, so he probably should have been stepped up against better opposition a few years ago if his management were on the ball.
Andrade, 30, will be looking to become a two-division world champion when he faces Kautondokwa for the WBO 160 lb title that was recently vacated by Billy Joe Saunders this month. Saunders tested positive for the prohibited drug oxilofrine during a VADA test last August. Although the drug is’t prohibited by WADA and UK Anti-Doing agencies out of competition, Saunders still wasn’t given his boxing licence by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission due to it being a banned drug on VADA’s list. Since Saunders agreed to be tested by VADA, he was playing under their rules for this fight, which means he couldn’t use oxilofrine.
The southpaw Andrade is going to be testing his punching power and boxing skills against the hard-hitting Kautondokwa to try and win the vacant WBO title. There’s a lot to gain for Andrade if he captures the WBO middleweight title. Winning the WBO title will put him in position to get fights against the winner of the Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko fight, as well as fights against Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Andrade’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA/DAZN doesn’t want to rush him into any dangerous fights right off the bat. He’d like to have him defend the WBO belt against Saunders if he’s game. It’s still unknown if this time if the World Boxing Organization is going to give Saunders a suspension. If they do, then he’ll be out of action for some time, but it’s possible the WBO might count some of the suspension time from the moment that it was announced that he had tested positive. We saw the Nevada State Athletic Commission use a similar maneuver with Saul Canelo Alvarez, which meant that his suspension wasn’t as long as boxing fans thought it would be after he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol last February.
“I’m the slickest guy out there, so it ain’t nothing,” said Andrade to skysports.com. “Saturday night, I’m going in, be myself, do my thing, and come home with that belt. He’s a top guy, and I’m taking it very serious. You know, everyone can punch in the sport of boxing,” Andrade said.
Andrade isn’t hard to hit. What makes him so good is he’s got size, power and boxing skills. Andrade was dropped hard by Vanes Martirosyan in the 1st round in their fight in November 2013. Andrade was able to come back and win the fight by a 12 round split decision, but it was a close fight. This wasn’t the wipe-out that we saw from Gennady Golovkin vs. Martirosyan earlier this year in May. Golovkin didn’t hesitate to KO Martirosyan after he got him in trouble in the 2nd round.
A loss for Andrade to Kautondokwa would be devastating for his British promoter Eddie Hearn, because he’s got big plans for him and believes him capable of being involved with a lot of huge fights in the middleweight division. Hearn is trying to corner the market in the middleweight division by signing the top 160 lb fighters so that he can match them against each other on DAZN. It’s going to be interesting to see if Hearn succeeds with his ultimate goal. It starts with Andrade on Saturday night at TD Garden in Boston, Mass. The WBO is a major piece of the puzzle that Hearn needs Andrade to win so that he can use the belt to get bigger fights against Canelo and GGG. Andrade is a southpaw, and that makes him less than desirable to fight for the top guys. Hearn is likely going to have a devil of a time trying to get the big names to bother fighting Andrade. Nowadays, titles are of less importance than simple popularity based on fighters being busy with their careers and having entertaining fighting styles. Andrade has broken the cardinal rule of not being busy with his career, so he might as well have been invisible as far as the boxing world goes. It’s not too late for Andrade to make a name for himself, but he’s going to need to make sure that Hearn keeps him busy from this point on. There’s no point in Andrade winning the WBO middleweight title if he’ just going to sit on it and not fight for 12 months like we’ve been seeing from him since 2016.