Rising junior middleweight star Demetrius Andrade (21-0, 14KO’s) of Providence, Rhode Island, made a real statement in November 2013 when he won a split decision victory over former Armenian-American amateur star, Vanes Martirosyan for the vacant WBO 154 pound title.
Andrade finished off a successful twelve months with an impressive seventh round technical knock out victory over mandatory challenger Brian Rose on the under card of Chris Algieri vs. Ruslan Provodnikov, but since then has been completely inactive.
The American is known for being very vocal during interviews, and over social media has called out several fighters in the junior middleweight division in the past eighteen months.
Since his fight with Britain’s Rose, Andrade stated on record that the big names in the division are simply avoiding him. He has openly criticized title holder Erislandy Lara for fighting Ishe Smith and fan favourite Canelo Alvarez for fighting James Kirkland in Texas next month.
In December last year, the southpaw champion was due to defend his title against fellow American, Jermell Charlo who is managed by Al Haymon, but decided to pull out of negotiations because of a dispute over his purse. Andrade then went public and agreed to a revised bout in early 2015, but Charlo and his team had decided to fight former Andrade foe Vanes Martirosyan instead.
Andrade is simply not fighting often enough to really build himself a fan base or get the recognition his talent undoubtedly deserves. Is it his fault?
There’s no doubting Andrade’s talent. He’s young, quick, and a hard hitting southpaw but needs to keep busy to avoid becoming irrelevant in arguably one of the most competitive divisions in boxing.
It’s hard to criticize Andrade. You don’t play boxing, its a serious sport in which any fight can potentially be your last. Negotiating the best possible purse for each fight can be a pivotal decision to make. Too many boxers have ended their career broke with nothing to show for their efforts, other than the eternal affection of the fans who adored them.
On the flip side however, pricing yourself out of career defining fights is always a dangerous business. Earning something is always better than earning nothing – nine months out of the ring, zero dollars earned and potential ring-rust is testament to that statement.
If Andrade wants the big fights, he needs to become more active and fight whoever and whenever he can and look to make sure that when he does fight, he wins in style and creates major demand for people looking to see him fight in the future.
A perfect example currently is middleweight knockout artist, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. It is widely known in the boxing world that Golovkin has been avoided by the big names in the middleweight division, but rather than stay inactive he is fighting regularly, winning impressively and is therefore putting constant pressure on other middleweight title holders to face him.
Since winning the WBA title in 2010, “GGG” hasn’t received the best purses, nor has he fought the highest calibre of opponent in every single fight, but the bigger picture was always on the horizon for Golovkin and his team – build a following, present your style, show your skills, sell your product. The money will follow and so too will the big name fights.
It’s a blueprint that Andrade and his team can perhaps take heed of. Golovkin has gone from absolute obscurity in 2010 to renowned HBO boxing star in the last eighteen months and is now simply must see TV. The viewing figures reflect those facts and sure his bank balance does too.
If a 32 year old from Kazakhstan can do it, then surely a 27 year old American can.
Andrade is still young and his best is yet to come but he must ensure that at this stage in his career, his talents are appreciated by as many people as can see them. He has the potential and style to become a multi-weight world champion, and become an American household name, particularly with the emergence of big-time boxing back on network TV in the United States.
The aforementioned network TV cavalry and it’s hierarchy are looking for talented marketable American world champions who the public can relate to, who they can sell and make appealing to that 18-40 viewing demographic.
Demetrius Andrade may not know it yet, but he most certainly fits the bill.
Gary Russell Jr. jumped on board last Saturday with his impressive knock out of Jhonny Gonzalez in front of the nation; care to join him Demetrius?