Undefeated junior middleweight Demetrious "Boo Boo" Andrade is in a good place as he prepares for his June 11 showdown versus Willie "The Great" Nelson at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Approaching the peak of his professional boxing career, the 28-year-old Andrade (22-0, 15 KOs) has moved past a frustrating three-year stretch that, after he won a 12-round decision over Vanes Masrtirosyan for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) 154-pound world title, found him fighting only twice. One was his only title defense, in which he won impressively by way of a seventh-round stoppage of then WBO No. 1 mandatory title challenger Brian Rose. But, due to promotional issues, Andrade was later stripped by the WBO for inactivity. His last fight was this past October when he recorded a second-round knockout of Dario Fabian Pucheta for the WBO International belt.
Now, Andrade has a new three-year promotional contract that gives his company, A Team Promotions, 50 percent of his promotional rights to go along with 25 percent each for Banner Promotions and Star Boxing.
"I’ve always been in a good place, mentally, because I have confidence in myself," said Andrade on what he went through during his long stretch outside of the ring. "I continued training hard. The politics of boxing, well, I’m not 100 percent there yet. Not until I’m actually in the ring and fighting will I actually know if that’s worked out for me.
"I’m satisfied in my future, showcasing myself in the ring. I own 50 percent of myself and that - being a promoter - is a big factor. I know everything now, including all the real numbers, and I’ve learned about the ins and outs of this business. I’m also meeting the right network of people to help my career."
Andrade is thrilled to be fighting on SHOWTIME for the second time during his career, the first back in 2013 on ShoBox: The New Generation against Freddy Hernandez. "The top 154-pounders are with SHOWTIME. I’d like to thank SHOWTIME for giving me this amazing opportunity."
Andrade-Nelson is a 12-round WBC title elimination fight to determine the second mandatory challenger for new WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo, who, as the WBC No. 1 contender was matched last May 21 with No. 2 rated John Jackson. No. 3 Andrade was originally slated to face No. 5 Charles Hatley in a title eliminator to determine the No. 1 mandatory contender. However, negotiations with Hatley’s promoter, Don King, failed to materialize and Andrade moved on to fight WBC No. 10 Nelson. The WBC declared Hatley as Charlo’s mandatory challenger, despite him being ranked lower than Andrade, with the Andrade-Nelson winner now declared the mandatory title challenger for the future Charlo-Hatley victor.
Andrade, though, has no hard feelings with the WBC about its decisions. "I’m just thankful to be fighting in this ’tournament’," he commented. "Charlo was the WBC International champion and he should have had the opportunity to fight for the vacant title. I have the WBO International title, Hatley the WBC Silver title, so Hatley should probably have been ranked higher than me by the WBC. I respect the WBC’s decision to make him the first mandatory challenger."
Nelson (25-2-1, 15 KOs) and Andrade are familiar with each other through the USA Boxing amateur program, but the two have never met in the ring.
"Nelson lets his hands go," Andrade noted. "He likes to mix it up and so do I. I like to think that I’m a little smarter than him in the ring. This is going to be an interesting fight. I respect him for taking the fight and I’m preparing to fight the toughest opponent I’ve ever faced. He may be the tallest guy (6’ 3") I’ve ever fought as a pro, but it’s only a few inches, and not a big deal."
Andrade is back on his way to reaching the peak of the 154-pound division once again.
"I am ready to set the roof on fire on June 11," Andrade said. "Once everyone at 154 pounds gets a taste of me, they will know I am the greatest. The Charlos made history by becoming the first twins to hold titles in the same weight division. I will make history by beating both of them. Then I will beat Lara and unify all of the belts.
"Stay tuned. I am a force to be reckoned with. I will show the world that the best 154 pound fighter in the world is Demetrius Andrade."
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May 31, 2016