By Dan Ambrose: WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade believes that the boxing public are going to force Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin to fight him in the future once his popularity has risen to such a high level where they’ll want to see them battle. Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) wants to box Canelo Alvarez in so that he has no other choice but to fight him.
(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA)
In the meantime, Andrade intends on defending his WBO 160-lb title against the most credible opponents available, starting with his defense against Luke Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KOs) this Thursday. Andrade and Keeler will be fighting on DAZN on January 30 at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami, Florida.
The 31-year-old Demtrius hasn’t achieved the popularity that he needs after 12 years as a pro to exert pressure on Canelo and Gennadiy to fight. One of the reasons for that is Andrade lacked the high powered promoter to put him in big fights or even in good fights. Last year, Andrade signed with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, and he’s been busier, but he still hasn’t fought a big name.
Andrade planning on breaking down Keeler
“I’m ready to put on a show, you know?” said Andrade to IFL TV. “I feel like I’m the best on the planet when it comes to this boxing thing, as far as skills and talent. I just need the other popular guys and elite guys to get in the ring with me, so everyone else can see it.
“Nothing really. Luke Keeler wasn’t on my radar,” said Andrade. “He happened to work his way up, and worked hard. He won a few fights to get where he’s at, and I’m happy for him and now his train has to come to an end. At least he can say he fought one of the greatest middleweights out there.
“I’m going to break him down, because he hasn’t been with a champion, and I’m looking to stop him,” said Andrade on Keeler.
It’s likely a mere formality for Andrade to break down, and stop the 32-year-old Keeler on Thursday night. Keeler can’t punch, and has most spent the vast majority of his career fighting domestic level opposition in the UK. Keeler’s best opponents during his career are these guys:
- Tom Doran
- Luis Arias
- Conrad Cummings
- Lewis Taylor
- Bradley Pryce
Arias is a fringe level guy, but not a great talent. Keeler had an easy time beating him by a 10 round points decision last August in Belfast.
Canelo won’t have anywhere to run – Andrade
“I’m going to continue to be the guy until there’s nowhere else to run,” said Andrade on boxing Canelo in. “Yeah, you can run to Murata. You can do that. If you do that, I’m looking to get in with Billy Joe, because therefore there is none, because it’s now up to Billy Joe to say, ‘I’m going to wait for Canelo’ or is he going to move on with his life and do what he’s got to do and get in with another fight with a fight between me and him.
“It’s a high caliber fight,” said Andrade about Saunders. “So are you going to do that or continue to hang around and fight nobodies? Or fighting guys not becoming nothing anymore. These are the types of fights that he needs, and the type of fights that I need to get people behind to see the Canelo fight,” said Andrade.
Demetrius could be right about Canelo soon not having any place for him to run at 160, because his choices are limited. There’s only a small handful of fighters for Canelo to fight in the 160-lb weight class. Those are as follows:
- Demetrius Andrade
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Ryota Murata
- Jermall Charlo
- Sergiy Derevyanchenko
If all Canelo does is fight middleweights, he’ll have gone through that entire list in the next 2 1/2 years. However, Canelo is expected to mix in a couple of super middleweights like Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith.
Andrade: Fans will demand for me to fight Canelo and GGG
“I can only do so much calling out of these guys,” said Andrade. “What I’m going to do is get the guys in front of me, do what I got to do, and then look to get in with the next guy that is willing to get in front of me. A credible guy at least. They may not be the most popular, but Luke Keeler seems like a credible guy the way Eddie Hearn speaks about him. Sulecki fought Danny Jacobs and Rosario.
“That’s what I got to keep doing is fighting the credible guys out there, and I’m going to become the house guy, the popular guy, and they’ll be demanding me to fight GGG and Canelo, if GGG is still around. Canelo will still be around or whoever is at 168 when I make the decision to go up,” said Andrade.
It would help immensely if Andrade’s promoter Hearn would match him against some good fighters at 160 and 168. Fans would like to see Andrade fight Jermall Charlo, Derevyanchenko, GGG, Saunders, Callum, David Benavidez, Caleb Plant or Daniel Jacobs. Andrade is a good fighter, but he might not have enough talent in his game for him to beat those guys.
Billy Joe Saunders is fight Andrade wants at 168
“Heathrow Airport, I seen him, and he was like, ‘Hey man, hey, what are you doing out here?'” said Andrade in talking about him running into Billy Joe Saunders at the airport in London recently. “‘You know that Canelo is not going to fight us? You know that? What about me and you?’ I’m like, ‘Bro, just go have a safe trip. Enjoy your vacation. We tried it twice, and you did the dirty thing once. You went up the second time to go fight for the vacant [WBO] 168, and I’m still interested in fighting you at 168. So if you really want to do that, we can do that, but save the bull-s—- talk, and go home on your vacation, bro. Go, I don’t want to here no boxing s— with you, because you’re just talking just to talk.’
“It was bound to happen,” said Andrade about him running into Saunders in the UK. “He’s out there, and I’m looking to take over. Boxing fans would love to have Billy Joe vs. Demetrius Andrade at the O2 or Wembley or something? One of those venues out there,” said Andrade on wanting to fight Saunders.
The way that Saunders bailed on the middleweight division last year, he doesn’t seem thrilled at the idea of fighting Andrade. Saunders is more interested in getting the Canelo golden ticket to get the retirement money, and Andrade would spoil that dream for him.