Demetrius Andrade vacating WBO 160-lb title, moving up to 168
By Jack Tiernan: Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade will be vacating his WBO 160-lb title and moving up to 168 to battle #1 Zach Parker to try and become the mandatory for super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that Andrade will be vacating his WBO 160-lb title to move up to fight the unbeaten Parker (22-0, 17 KOs) for the mandatory position.
The only reason the WBO isn’t installing Demetrius as the immediate mandatory for Canelo’s 168-lb title with their organization is that Zach Parker, 27, has been waiting for a while at the #1 spot and they don’t want to have him leap-frogged without giving him a shot to keep his position.
This isn’t a gimme for Demetrius, as Parker has a lot of talent and can punch. This fight could be the toughest for Andrade in many years since his grueling war with Jack Culcay in 2017.
Zhanibek to fight for vacant WBO title
There was a purse bid scheduled this week for Andrade’s defense against his WBO mandatory Zhanibek Alimkhanuly at 160. That’s a fight that wouldn’t have made Andrade a lot of money, and it would be a tough one, given that the 2016 Olympian Zhanibek (11-0, 7 KOs) packs a lot of power, and he’s tough.
With Andrade vacating his WBO 160-pound title, Zhanibek will fight the next highest available contender in the World Boxing Organization’s rankings.
“Andrade, a two-division world champion, faced a purse bid this week for a mandatory defense against Janibek Alimkhanuly. Alimkhanuly’s team will pursue a vacant title. A possible opponent: Chris Eubank Jr., who will face Liam Williams on February 5th,” said Mannix.
It’s questionable whether the Chris Eubank Jr. will choose to face Janibek for the vacant WBO 160lb title, but we’ll see. If the WBO orders Janibek vs. Eubank Jr, you can bet that fight will happen. Eubank Jr. isn’t the type of fighter to back down against anyone.
This is a move by the 33-year-old Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) initiated to force WBO champion Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) to finally face him or vacate his title in what would be viewed as a case of him openly ducking.
It’s already believed by many boxing fans that Canelo has been openly avoiding Andrade for a decade now since 2012, but that’s something that has gone over the head over the casuals. But if Andrade becomes Canelo’s mandatory at 168, he’s going to have to do have to take that fight if he doesn’t want to be viewed as running scared of the 2008 U.S Olympian.
Canelo gave Andrade the boot at his post-fight press conference last May when he called him out after his win over British fighter Billy Joe Saunders at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez was less than polite with Demetrius in kicking him out of his post-fight press conference, telling him to “Get the f*** out of here.” Canelo added that Andrade is a “terrible fighter,” despite him being an unbeaten former two-division world champion and 2008 Olympian.
“Demetrius Andrade intends to vacate his 160-pound title and move up to 168, sources told @SInow. Andrade’s team is working on completing a deal to face Zach Parker, with the winner to become the mandatory for the super middleweight title held by Canelo Alvarez,” said Chris Mannix.
It’s too bad that Andrade must fight to become Canelo’s mandatory at 168 just to try and force him to give him a shot. I mean, this is a fight that many boxing fans would enjoy watching, and Canelo has to be aware of that.
For him to be choosing to fight little-known opposition like Ilunga Makabu instead of Demetrius, furthers the argument that he’s ducking the Providence, Rhode Island native.
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