Demetrius Andrade could move up to 168 to become Canelo’s WBO mandatory
By Jim Calfa: Eddie Hearn is fed up after learning of the WBO’s decision to order Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade to defend his middleweight title against his WBO mandatory challenger Zhanibek Alimkhanuly next, and he says he could move up to 168 in 2022 to become the mandated challenger to Canelo Alvarez.
The Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn has lost patience with Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) being stuck with another mandatory after his recent win over mandated challenger Liam Williams last April.
Hearn wanted Andrade to have time to set up a unification fight against WBC champion Jermall Charlo after Demetrius’ #1 challenger Jaime Munguia bailed out, electing not to challenge ‘Boo Boo’ for his title.
You can understand why Munguia chose not to fight Andrade because he would likely be overmatched and easily beaten. Munguia has power, but as we saw in his controversial win over Dennis Hogan, he has very little boxing ability.
Andrade stuck with a no-name mandatory
Instead of getting Munguia or Charlo, Andrade, 33, is in the unenviable position to defend against the tough Kazah 2016 Olympian Zhanibek (11-0, 7 KOs), a fight that will be hard for Hearn to promote because it’s another obscure opponent for Demetrius.
While Zhanibek has loads of talent and punching power, he’s completely unknown in the United States among the casual boxing fans, and Hearn would have a devil of a time trying to market this match.
Demetrius could move up to 168
“Maybe Andrade moves up to 168 to become [Canelo’s WBO] mandatory as the WBO world champion,” said a frustrated Eddie Hearn, shortly after learning the World Boxing Organization have ordered Demetrius to defend against #2 Zhanibek Alimkhanuly.
“But we got to do something because we can’t go fight that fight [Demetrius vs. Zhanibek],” said an angry Hearn.
Assuming Andrade dumps his WBO 160-lb title in the nearest wastebasket, he can move up to 168 and become Canelo’s WBO mandatory challenger, per the WBO’s rules allowing their champions to move up in weight and become the #1 spot in the division above.
Canelo recently had negative things to say about Andrade, calling him a “Horrible fighter,” which is fine. But if the Mexican star wants to hold into his WBO 168-lb title, he’ll need to defend against Andrade if he moves up in weight to super middleweight.
It would be a brilliant move by Hearn to force Canelo’s hand to either put up or shut up and relinquish his title. If Canelo chooses to ignore Demetrius, he’ll need to give up his WBO 168lb belt, and he’ll no longer be viewed as the undisputed champion at super middleweight.
At 168, Andrade would be in a position to face these top guys:
- David Benavidez
- David Morrell Jr
- Edgar Berlanga
- Danny Jacobs
- Gabe Rosado
- David Lemieux
- Caleb Plant
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