Demetrius Andrade vs. Maciej Sulecki OFFICIAL for June 29
By Mark Eisner: It’s now official that WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) will be defending his title against #3 WBO Maciej Sulecki (28-1-1, 11 KOs) on June 29th on DAZN at the Dunkin’ Donuts Arena in Providence, Rhode Island. Lance Pugmire of the LA Times broke the news earlier today.
Andrade’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA recently cast doubt on the Andrade-Sulecki fight taking place, as he said that Sulecki had suffered a hand injury in his recent win over Gabriel Rosado on March 15th, and he wouldn’t be able to take the fight. Sulecki stepped in at that point and assured the fans that he would heal up, and take the fight. He wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip through his fingers.
This is a tough fight for Andrade, who cannot lose this contest if he wants to be able to hold onto his World Boxing Organization 160 lb title, which the only bait that he has to lure the likes of Saul Canelo Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin to face him. Andrade can’t get those guys to fight him due to his lack of popularity, and his tricky southpaw style. He’s not someone that those fighters feel any need to want to fight. Golovkin seems to care more about taking on the big names now rather than winning world titles. The days of GGG looking to collect all the titles appears to be done. Can Andrade handle a talented fighter like Sulecki or will he fall apart in this contest? Andrade has so little to show for 10 years as a pro that it’s hard to say how well he’ll do in this fight. In Andrade’s last fight, he seemed to freeze each time the much shorter 5’8″ Artur Akavov would hit him cleanly. Sulecki, 6’1″, is going to hit Andrade in this fight, and we could see him fall apart.
Sulecki is easily the toughest opponent Andrade will have faced during his career. This is a bad match-up Andrade, who has become spoiled with the type of opponents his promoters have been feeding him during his 10-year pro career. Sulecki has got the size, youth and the accuracy to give Andrade a lot of issues in this fight if he can stand up to his punching power.
The Polish fighter Sulecki gave Daniel Jacobs a really tough fight last year in April of 2018 in losing a fight that was closer than the scores handed down. Sulecki a 12 round unanimous decision, but the fight close enough to be decided by the 12th round. Sulecki was putting on Jacobs, and had his facing looking badly swollen at the end of the bout. It was a performance that showed that Sulecki belongs with the elites in the division. He’s clearly up there with him. Sulecki had some problems in beating the 34-year-old Rosado by a 10 round unanimous decision last March at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia, Penn.
Sulecki knocked Rosado down twice in the fight in dropping him in round 1 and 8. In the ninth, Rosado dropped Sulecki twice with rabbit punches to the back of the head. The referee let the dubious knockdowns stand. Ignoring the rabbit punches, Sulecki was hurt by a big right hand that got the ball rolling for Rosado. It was all rabbit shots after that by Rosado unfortunately. Rosado didn’t do enough to get the win. The judges scored it 95-91, 95-93 and 95-91. Rosado put in a game effort, but Sulecki appeared to win every round of the fight but the ninth. Sulecki also has a fine 10th round knockout win over Hugo Centeno in 2016. That was a one-sided fight.
Sulecki and Andrade share a common opponent in Jack Culcay. Andrade struggled to beat Culcay by a 12 round split decision in March 2017 by the scores 116-112, 116-112 for Andrade, and 115-113 for Culcay. Sulecki beat Culcay by a 10 round unanimous decision in October 2017. The scores were 98-92, 98-93 and 96-94.
Although Andrade is a two-time junior middleweight champion, he did nothing during his time as a belt holder. It was a huge disappointment. After Andrade captured the WBO 154 lb title with a 12 round split decision win over Vanes Martirosyan in November 2013, he made one defense of the strap in beating Brian Rose by a seventh round knockout in June 2014 before having the title stripped from him due to inactivity by the WBO in 2015. Two years later, Andrade beat WBA ‘regular’ junior middleweight champion Culcay by a 12 round split decision, and then vacated the belt and moved up to 160. Andrade won the vacant WBO middleweight title in beating little known Walter Kautondokwa by a 12 round unanimous decision last October. Andrade was going to fight WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, but he tested positive for a banned substance and ended up giving up the belt rather than defending it.
In Andrade’s first defense of the WBO belt, his promoters at Matchroom Boxing picked out an easy mark in fringe contender Artur Akavov and he defeated him by a 12th round knockout last January. It was a strange stoppage in a fight that was not all that entertaining. In watching the fight, it looked like Andrade’s promoters had selected Akavov based on him not being a threat to him.
There’s a chance that the winner of the Andrade vs. Sulecki fight will get the winner of this Saturday’s fight between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, but maybe not. The way that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya was talking on Tuesday, it doesn’t sound like Canelo is going to fight Andrade. De La Hoya said that he wanted GGG to be the one that fights Andrade to win the WBO title from him, and then Canelo would fight GGG after that. Golovkin probably won’t bother doing the bidding for Golden Boy and Canelo. Since there would be no guarantee that he would get the Canelo fight, Golovkin probably won’t want to use up one of his valuable fights on his six-fight DAZN contract to fight Andrade when there are bigger fights out there for him. If the winner of the Canelo vs. Jacobs fight choose not to fight the winner of the Andrade vs. Sulecki fight, then that fighter will need to make do with the best fights that are available them.