By Mark Eisner: WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) toyed with his over-matched challenger Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs) before stopping him in the 9th round on Thursday night on DAZN at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami, Florida.
Andrade, 31, hurt Keeler with a big left uppercut in the 9th. He then continued to land big shots as Keeler gamely attempted to survive along the ropes. WHen it was clear that Keeler, 32, was almost defenseless, referee Telis Assimenios stepped in and halted the fight. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:59 of round 9.
Although Keeler looked unhappy with the referee’s decision to stop the fight, it was the right call. Keeler was taking big shots, and he wasn’t able to defend himself properly. His weak punches weren’t enough to keep Andrade off of him in the final moments of the fight. He was mainly trying to move out of the way of Andrade’s shots, and hold him.
Andrade dropped Keeler in first 10 seconds
Earlier in the contest, Andrade knocked Keeler down in rounds 1 and 2. In the opening seconds of round 1, Andrade nailed the underdog Keeler with a hard left hand that sent him down on his back. Although Andrade tried to finish the hurt Keeler right away, he was too overanxious, and he missed a number of wild home run swings.
Andrade looked like he’d been transformed into Deontay Wilder with the way he was windmilling with his shots. However, in Wilder’s case, he’s generally pretty accurate when he’s throwing wild shots. Andrade wasn’t. He was whiffing repeatedly with big punches against the reeling Keeler, who was there to be taken if Andrade had been more accurate.
Keeler went on the attack frequently tonight, but he didn’t have the size, power, speed or the talent to hurt Andrade. If Keeler could punch like Gennadiy Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez or Jermall Charlo, he would have given Andrade something to think about tonight. He was putting hands on Andrade, but he didn’t have the power to hurt him.
Demetrius wants Billy Joe Saunders next
“I knew he was a warrior,” Andrade said of Keeler moments after the fight was stopped. “And I took him to the deep waters, and I sunk him. I went in delusional thinking I could KO him right away. I proved that I’m not delusional. And I come to put on a show every time.
“I want to go to 168 to fight Billy Joe Saunders in my next fight. Eddie, offer him that check so I can whoop his a– too. Eddie said he sent an offer [to Jermall Charlo], but there was no response. If he sends and offer, I will respond. The boogeyman is here,” said Andrade.
Punch stats heavily tilted in Andrade’s favor
Demetrius connected on 146 of 385 punches for a connect percentage of 38, according to CompuBox. For his part, Keeler landed just 34 of 298 shots for an 11 percent connect rate.
The fight was a total slaughter from the moment the contest started. It’s a surprise that Keeler was to last as long as he did, because he was taking big punches all throughout the contest. What enabled Keeler to last as long as he did was Andrae’s inability to put his shots together in combination form. He was mainly loading up with single left hands, and looking to knockout Keeler with every punch. Andrade wasn’t jabbing, and he was making his job a lot harder for him.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) January 31, 2020
Andade fails to impress
Overall, it was a decent but not great performance by Andrade. You can give him a C+ grade for the way he performed. It was good enough for Andrade to defeat the guy his British promoter Eddie Hearn dug up for him to fight, but he likely would have lost to Jermall Charlo, Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin tonight. Those guys would have taken advantage of Andrade’s lack of a jab, and they would timed his left hand, and nailed him with something.
Andrade has complained for the longest time about the top dogs not wanting to fight him, but after tonight, it might be better for him that they don’t fight him.