By Dan Ambrose: WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) is defending against Luke Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KOs) on January 30 at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami, Florida. This match has very little chance of being competitive, but Andrade doesn’t seem to mind.
Andrade, 31, is promising to give Ireland born Keeler a bad beating when the two of them square off this month.
Andrade-Keeler will be streamed LIVE on DAZN in the United States, and televised in the UK on Sky Sports.
The promoters for Andrade at Matchroom Boxing USA are hoping to match him in 2020 against Jermall Charlo, Gennadiy Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez, but it’s not looking good right now. It’s more likely than not that Andrade’s next opponent after his defense against Keeler will be someone like Liam Williams.
The reason why Andrade is being matched against UK fighters is because Matchroom’s headquarters are in England, and they show his fights over there. Andrade has a following in the UK, but not much of one in the U.S unfortunately.
In the co-feature on the Andrade-Keeler card, IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) will defend against Joseph Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs). Also on the undercard is WBA super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) fighting Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs).
Andrade vowing to thrash Keeler
“He’s going to bring his A-game and I’m going to bring my A-game,” said Andrade to Matchroom Boxing about his fight against Luke Keeler. “I’m definitely going to give Keeler a beating of his life. There’s a quote where he said he might fight me for free. Don’t rush an a– whipping kid. You should want to get paid. For him to have an opportunity to fight me, he must be doing something good.
“He must be a decent fighter,” said Andrade about Keeler. “But I believe I’m the best. I’m not going to some you something you’ve seen before, and that’s an advantage that I have. This is how you lead up to the bigger names. There’s only a few bigger names, and I’m one of them. I have everything that it takes, and now it’s just about doing it.
“I’m at the right age bracket as far as the guys that are still available,” said Andrade. “GGG is a little older. He’s 35, and that could still happen. I haven’t seen anyone from the younger generation. ‘Oh, look out for that guy.’ I haven’t seen that, and we’re going to stay in our era,” said Andrade.
Demetrius wants a fight against IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin, but that’s not going to happen. GGG would fight Andrade if there was a demand for the fight by the boxing public, but no one wants to see it.
There is a very good chance that Andrade is able to carry out his prediction by thrashing Keeler, because he’s not a major talent. Keeler has done very little to earn the #3 ranking he’s been given by the WBO.
Demetrius thinks fans will demand the popular fighters to face him
“From 154 to 160, my maturity level has grown in the ring the more active I have gotten,” said Andrade. “I feel like if these guys had fought me, they probably would have had a better chance, but now they’ve given me the proper time to sign with DAZN and Matchroom, and be active and get in the ring, fight three or four times, sharpen up my tools and get the ring rust out.
“It’s going to be hell when it comes time to it,” said Andrade. “When it comes time for when it happens. So, I mean, as long as I’m building my legacy, and fighting the way I perform, and the people are loving my style, and the rings I’m doing, I’m not worried about anybody else. As long as people are coming to see me fight. That’s what it’s all about.
“Eventually they’re going to start demanding these other guys to make it happen. It’s going to come down to DAZN, the network, Matchroom, doing things like this, fighting in different cities, and giving the world a taste of Demetrius Andrade. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m sorry, people. I tried. I’ll still be showing you that when you watch a Demetrius Andrade fight, you’re learning the real sweet science of what to do,” said Andrade.
The fans aren’t going to start demanding GGG, Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo to fight Andrade until he steps up the level of the opposition. Andrade is in a bad position right now because of the many years he’s had in which he’s fought poor opposition.
Andrade thinks his marketing is below his skill level
“It’s the marketing, really. My skill level is right here, and my marketing it right here [lower than skill level],” said Andrade. “We gotta build that up to make it match. Some people it’s the other way around. If they started young, and their skill level was here, and their marketing was here [higher than their skill level].
“When they get in there with someone that is real, they end up crashing down anyway,” said Andrade. “I think it’s just getting out there, and letting people know I have talent and charisma. I think people will adapt and gravitate towards me with my style and who I am,” said Andrade.
Demetrius hasn’t been marketed strongly during his career, and his match-making has been poor from day one. Since signing with Hearn, nothing has changed for Andrade. He’s still not fighting the big names, and it’s questionable whether that’ll change.
Hearn makes it known that he’s offered Jermall Charlo a lot of money to come over to DAZN to fight Andrade, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Charlo has a good situation in fighting on Showtime against fighters like Dennis Hogan and Brandon Adams.
Andrade: I’d definitely fight Saunders
“Billy Joe Saunders is an undefeated guy, and he’s a known guy,” said Andrade. “I don’t know if he’s well known. And I think that bridge from the U.S and the UK, me and him fighting would definitely make it bigger. I would definitely fight him, and I would definitely take the challenge to fight him. And I was willing to take the challenge with some stipulations, and an increase in my paper.
“Him being off the drugs. At the end of the day, the Commission has to do their job, because their job is to protect the fighter,” Andrade continued. “They can get hit with lawsuits and stuff like that. It is what it is, and Billy Joe Saunders needs to get his a–whooped, and I’m the guy to do it hands down. REALLY whoop his a–. So, I’m up for the challenge,” said Andrade.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn could easily make the fight between Andrade and Saunders if he wanted to, but it doesn’t look like he wants to. Hearn is clearly saving Saunders for a unification fight against WBA 168-lb champion Callum Smith. Hearn promotes both guys, so it’s an easy fight for him to make.
If Hearn wanted to do Andrade a favor, he’s match him against Callum or Saunders in 2020, but he’s not going to do that. We know that because Hearn is open about fights he wants to make, and he’s not talking at all about Andrade fighting those guys.
Andrade doesn’t make a lot of sense with him pointing fingers at the other fighters, saying they’re not fighting the best. He’s not going it either, and he’s hypocritical in that respect.
Facing weak opposition not an option for Andrade
“They have the option of picking guys. I don’t,” said Andrade about the bigger name fighters. “I’ve never picked guys before. I wished I had picked the guys that I want to fight, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. If I fought the Hogan guy, I would have gotten a lot of criticism for it in a bad way vs. good,” said Andrade in taking a shot at Jermall Charlo.
“For them, it’s okay, but for me, I wouldn’t even lace up my gloves to fight these type of guys,” Andrade said about the Charlo brothers. “That’s not to disrespect them, but ‘you’re not on my level, so what’s the point?’ Maybe after I get in there with the iron. I can’t fight the iron all the time. And I mean, the Chavez guy. I can’t fight him all the time. Throw me a bone, and let me fight Luke Keeler or Dennis Hogan.
“I can’t keep going against GGG and Canelo in every single fight,” said Andrade. “But that’s what it seems like they’re doing. They’re going in against soft opposition all the time, and me I’ve got to fight the person that’s not popular, but is a tough mother-f— that is coming to try and win and take what’s mine because that’s his opportunity,” said Andrade.
Demetrius talks like he’s been fighting great fighters his entire 12-year professional career, when the reality is he’s been taking weak opposition the entire time. Andrade’s best opponents thus far have been Vanes Martirosyan, Maciej Sulecki, Jack Culcay, and Freddy Hernandez. Keeler can be considered a weak opponent, and yet Andrade is still fighting him.
Andrade wants to fight both Charlo brothers
“We can put a lot of backsides in the seats, especially in the New England area,” said Andrade. “I can take my talent anywhere. As my activity level grows, and I’m in the ring more, I can see spots where, ‘this is where I can showboat, and this is where I can do something different.’ But me not being in the ring that often, I can’t see that. Maybe I do, but then I don’t fight or another six to seven months. Fighting guys like Sulecki, I’ve been learning to entertain a little bit more,” said Andrade.
“I’d fight both of those guys,” Andrade said about the Charlo brothers. “This is more than boxing with them. It’s a little personal, because they try to put this image out like they’re gangsters, and it’s about that life. And when you see them, it’s for show. Bro, you don’t have to act like that. There’s way of doing things. Be yourself,” said Andrade about the Charlo brothers.
The chances of Jermell Charlo agreeing to fight Andrade are zero in this lifetime, and it’s a similar situation with Jermall. Those guys aren’t showing a lot of interest in taking on good fighters, Look at the opponents Jermall has been fighting lately:
- Dennis Hogan
- Brandon Adams
- Matt Korobov
- Hugo Centeno Jr
- Jorge Sebastian Heiland
Charlo is no longer taking risks with his career, and he’s just focusing on taking easy fights one after another. There’s a good possibility that boxing fans won’t see Charlo and Andrade fight until one or both of them are over-the-hill. That’s how it goes sometimes. The big fights aren’t made until one or both of the fighters are on the downside of their careers, and no longer afraid to take a risky fight.
Charlo brothers would get a beating says Andrade
“Don’t try and act like gangsters, because there’s gangsters out in this world,” Andrade continued about the Charlos. “Anybody can get hit. For our timeline and our interactions with each other, I’d definitely get in the ring, and give them a handy down. Like an old school beating with a belt. It would be great. I’d fight both of those guys.
“We just gotta figure it out, because they’re on Showtime, talking, ‘I’m my own promoter.’ So why don’t you come over to DAZN. We see you talk that talk, why don’t you walk that walk? I want to get in the ring with you. I read on about you at the press conference. In New York, I ran up on them, and I said, ‘Hey guys, how do you want to do this? I’m here. What’s the hold up?'” said Andrade.
If Jermall Charlo rejects the one-fight offer made for him to fight on DAZN, then Andrade can forget about ever fighting him. That’s not to say that Charlo wouldn’t fight on DAZN, because he most certainly would if the offer from Hearn was for him to fight Canelo or Golovkin.
What Hearn should do is petition the World Boxing Council to make Andrade the top contender to Jermall at 160, like they did with Vasiliy Lomachenko at lightweight. If the WBC wants to force the Charlo-Andrade fight, they can easily do that if Hearn asks them to have Andrade ranked #1 with the sanctioning body.
Canelo and GGG not showing interest in facing Demetrius
“With Canelo, it’s hard, because they try to kick me out of the press conferences,” said Andrade. “They don’t want me around the Canelo area. They got this picture on the board where, ‘Don’t let this guy in.’ And GGG, what I had to do to get in GGG’s face.
“I had to dive under the ropes in Madison Square Garden, and I’m like, ‘Yo, bro, when are we going to make this happen? Because they won’t let me go to the background to the press conference then, and they didn’t want to let me get in the ring.
“I had to do the Ultimate Warrior, slide underneath there, and do my thing,” said Andrade. “And I had to run, duck behind, security is coming. I had to run behind Eddie Hearn. ‘Don’t touch me. Edde, don’t let them touch me.’ Finally I got to get a hold of GGG. I’m respectful guy. It’s not easy stepping foot inside the ring, and fighting.
“I’m telling him, ‘Yo man, I respect you. Let’s make this thing happen. You claim your the best, and I feel the same. I want to do what you’ve done, and fight the Canelos and yourself. It would be an honor for me to do this, so let’s make this happen.’ Do I hear any feedback. ‘No, not with Demetrius Andrade. Not that guy, and he can fight,'” said Andrade.
Canelo wants to fight guys that will get him attention, and he’s very calculated in the fighters he faces. We saw that in his recent match against WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev last November. Canelo saw a well known vulnerable champion on his last legs in Kovalev, and he went after him. Andrade isn’t well known, and he’s not on his last legs.
Andrade doesn’t want to pressure fighters to face him
“I’m not someone that is going to trash someone’s press conference,” said Andrade. “I know what it’s like to fight 12 rounds, and I wouldn’t want to come in a disrespectful way. Billy Joe, I’d love to get in there with him,” said Andrade.
“People have told me him [Jermall] saying, ‘I’m hiding behind the network.’ It seems like he’s doing more hiding than anything,” said Andrade about Jermall Charlo. “They let him rumble his mouth, and they don’t understand. What are you guys saying? They rumble their mouth, and I’m like, ‘what are you guys saying?’ They went from, ‘Who’s Andrade?’ and I was a champion…I’m not worthy of fighting the Charlos to, ‘Oh yeah, Andrade is good. If I have to fight him to try and fight Canelo, yeah, I would do that. Oh yeah, I’m my own promoter. I can do what I want.’
“To me hiding a network,” said Andrade about the Charlo brothers. “They can come over here and we can tango. It’s not happening. You’re not a threat to me. Eddie Hearn did keep his word. ‘You are a main event fighter. That’s who you are, and that’s what we’re going to do with you.’ I was willing to fight on the Anthony Joshua card in New York city, and take half the pay, because the viewership I can take away from being on a card like that,” said Andrade.
It’s pretty obvious that the Charlo brothers aren’t interested in fighting the southpaw Andrade, because they would have fought him already if they wanted.
Andrade not interested in fighting on the undercard of Youtube celebrities
“I would love to fight on these guy’s undercard, even though I’m a main event guy, because it would be an impact for boxing,” said Andrade. “No one else like Logan Paul or KSI. Chill. It’s not for me,” said Andrade in letting people know he wouldn’t fight on the undercard of those two Youtube celebrities.
Luke’s best wins have come against Luis Arias, Conrad Cummings and Bradley Pryce. Keeler has twice been beaten by Tom Doran. That’s a fighter that Chris Eubank Jr. destroyed in 4 rounds in 2016.
For Andrade to get the big fights, he needs quality wins on his resume, but that can’t happen. As long as Andrade’s Matchroom promoters are focused on matching him against Keeler types, he’s not going to grow in popularity.