On May 21 at the Pride Park Stadium in Britain, Demetrius Andrade will face Zach Parker for the interim WBO super middleweight title. This bout represents a new chapter of sorts for Andrade, both from a business and physical perspective.
His last six bouts dating back to 2018 were promoted by Matchroom Sports and broadcast on DAZN. The rights to this fight were won by Queensberry Promotions, and for the time being, his relationship with Eddie Hearn has come to an end.
And this particular contest will take place at 168, as Andrade will attempt to win a title in his third weight class after capturing belts at junior middleweight and middleweight.
The relationship with Matchroom/DAZN was lucrative, but he never was able to secure that major bout he had been yearning for. Instead of the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, he got Liam Williams, Luke Keeler, Maciej Sulecki, Artur Akovov and Walter Kautondokwa on his ledger.
When asked if he got everything he had hoped for with this union, Andrade told SNAC.com, "I didn't but at the end of the day, I did get some good stuff. I was active, I was able to make a financial difference in my life, and people around me. I think a lot of things could've been different on DAZN and Matchroom side, I did my job every time I stepped into the ring -- and that's winning."
Andrade while a tad disappointed, isn't embittered by what has -- or hasn't -- taken place with his career.
"There's a lot worse that goes on in life," said Andrade, an affable sort. "At the same time I've got to be grateful for what's coming and the stuff that I'm getting, there's more. When that more is going to come, I believe that 'more' is going to be now."
While 'Boo Boo' eschewed his WBO middleweight mandatory defense versus Janibek Alimkhanuly, he made it clear that he didn't vacate this belt. For him, this was about providing another option for him at 168, where the likes of Caleb Plant and David Benavidez reside. He says it was about looking into, ''more characters, more opponents."
Should he overcome the rugged Parker, he will have to make a decision on what title he will keep. In short, whichever belt affords him better opportunities, that will be the one that will stay around his waist.
"We're going to scout around to see what the best deals are out there," said Andrade, who added, "Just because Eddie Hearn has announced this is my last fight, that doesn't mean we can't do one-fight deals, stuff like that, figure something out. I'm going to see what the other options are to make great fights."
Andrade is a difficult, awkward southpaw, the type that generally has to be force fed to the marquee names in the sport. At times he has been flat out ignored by his fellow belt-holders. Last year when he made his presence known at a post-fight press conference of Alvarez, he was basically thrown out of there like he was 'Jazz' in the 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' by 'Uncle Phil'.
He seems to understand his predicament, and Andrade claims, "I would take less to face top guys to make things happen."
While he's won every fight he's been in (31-0, 19 KOs), oftentimes style points have been lacking, as has his overall strength of schedule. It could be argued that Vanes Martirosyan(who he defeated in 2013) is still the best name on his record.
Parker (22-0, 16 KOs), who is a hard-charging switch-hitter just might be the best fighter he's faced as a pro. Currently, Parker is rated ninth in the division by Ring Magazine, and first by the WBO.
"To me, he's kind of a stand-up European fighter, who does switch-hit. He really doesn't like the body shots and if somebody presses him, it's a different fight," said Andrade's trainer, Mike Veloz. "He can fight on his back leg, but it doesn't seem like he wants to fight on the back leg because he's known for being a bigger puncher of the two.
"It's going to be an awesome night, we're going to flip the script on that one."
Adding to this challenge is that Andrade has to hit the road and pull out his passport for this contest.
To which he states, "Listen, I'm a world champion, I should be able to go to anybodies backyard, just like anybody who comes in my backyard, and lets get it on. My talent is for the world, not just for the United States or my backyard."
Last November, Andrade took out Jason Quigley in two short rounds. Parker figures to be a much tougher test. While he may not get that much credit for it, this would be a solid win on his resume'.
"Good luck to Zach Parker," says Andrade, "I'm going to give the Derby fans, the UK, English fans a night of watching greatness come May 21st. May the best man win."
Sharik Mendes handles the strength-and-conditioning for Andrade, who has never actually weighed more than 160 pounds for any of his professional bouts since turning professional. Now he faces a guy in Parker who is a natural super middleweight, who has weighed-in as much as 177 pounds in the past.
So what changes have been made to Andrade's regimen in this camp?
"He's eating more calories, he's doing Proglycosyn after every workout, and he's doing ProNight before bed every night," said Mendez, of the two SNAC products that have become a staple of Andrade's arsenal the past several years.
According to Veloz, his boxer is, "more solid body-wids, the weigh is coming off perfectly, but it's also staying on perfectly, if that make sense."
"I think he's stronger, but we're going to find out,'' said Mendes. "I tell you, right now the guy is so talented that he could've done anything he wanted to do. I think he could still make 160. 168 he makes easy. So the thing is, when he was at 160 he cut the weight. Some times it was easier than others. The last two fights were very easy. I don't think he'll have a problem going up and down."
Mendes, who works with other athletes, lauds Andrade for his continued commitment and compliance. "The way he trains its....different, very different."
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