Demetrius Andrade to defend against Luke Keeler on Jan.30 or 31st
By Kenneth Friedman: The World Boxing Organization has approved WBO middleweight champion Demtrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade to make his next defense against #2 WBO Luke Keeler for next month on January 30 or 31st. The fight is expected to take place in Miami, Florida, which means that the undercard will likely have someone from that area.
Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KOs) has two past defeats to domestic level fighter Tom Doran and a draw against journeyman Adam Jones (8-35-6). With a KO percentage of 25, Keeler is no threat to knocking out Boo Boo Andrade.
Assuming he beats Ireland’s Keeler in January, Andrade, 31, will then need to make a defense against his WBO mandatory in his next fight. It’s still unknown who the WBO mandatory challenger is at 160. The sanctioning body hasn’t yet decided on Andrade’s mandatory, but it’s likely one of these fighters:
- Liam Williams
- Alantez Fox
- Michael Zerafa
- Kanat Islm
Andrade still not getting big fights
Not much has changed for the 2008 U.S Olympian Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) since signing with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. Andrade was supposed to be getting a lot of big fights after signing with Hearn, but that failed to happen. Hearn wants Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin to fight the southpaw Andrade, but neither of them have agreed to do that.
Andrade’s recent lackluster performance against Maciej Sulecki last June may have hurt his case. Although Andrade won by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision over Sulecki, he fought defensively, and looked ragged in the later rounds. Andrade gassed out, and spent most of the second half of the fight spoiling.
Hearn has kept Andrade busy since signing him in 2018, but he’s been put in with lesser opposition. In Andrade’s three fights with Matchroom, he’s beaten the following guys: Walter Kautondokwa, Artur Akavov and Sulecki. Adding Keeler’s name to that list will further show that Andrade is not getting the important fights. With that kind of matchmaking, Andrade is no better off being with Matchroom.
Keeler’s resume is thin on talent
The WBO has their reasons for giving the 32-year-old Keeler a #2 ranking with their organization, but it’s unclear what they see in him. The best win’s of Keeler’s six-year professional career have come against these fighters:
- Luis Arias
- Bradley Pryce
- Conrad Cummings
Since Matchroom is a UK promotional company, it’s all that unexpected that they’re matching Andrade against Keeler. This is a move by Hearn to try and increase Andrade’s name recognition in the UK. It’s too bad that Hearn couldn’t get a better fighter for Andrade to face, because Keeler isn’t the type of opponent that he needs to lure guys like Canelo and GGG to fight him.
Andrade needs to think seriously about vacating his WBO middleweight title. If he moves up to 168, he can challenge Billy Joe Saunders for his belt.