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Andrade to meet Hatley for mandatory title slot

26
Jan
Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

 

Demetrius Andrade didn’t enjoy the best of years in 2015. Although he maintained his unbeaten record, he was stricken with a myriad of problems outside the ring – one having been stripped of his WBO junior middleweight title – that are now resolved.

Andrade (22-0, 15 knockouts) was on the shelf for 14 months before resurfacing last October. The Providence, RI. resident easily dispatched Dario Pucheta in two rounds, off TV.

“That fight was good for me. It was in New England and I had a lot of fan support even though the fight was announced on short notice,” Andrade told RingTV.com. “It felt good to be back in the ring.”



Having shown little sign of ring rust, he wants to get back into the thick of things in the talented 154-pound division. A couple of weeks ago, the WBC announced the brackets for its upcoming tournament to fill the vacancy created when Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired.

“I believe my fight with Charles Hatley will be good for boxing,” said the 27-year-old southpaw. “He’s coming off a stoppage of Anthony Mundine, who was a possible opponent for me but that fight didn’t happen because of boxing political reasons.

“Our fight will be a steppingstone for the winner, who will be the mandatory contender to fight for the WBC 154-pound championship.

“I was the WBO 154-pound world champion and we all know I was stripped of the title,” added Andrade. “In my mind, I’m still world champion because I’m undefeated. I didn’t lose my belt in the ring. They took it from me. I don’t know when I’ll be fighting Hatley. Negotiations are going on and we have until sometime next month. I’m not sure of the exact date or it’ll go to purse bid. A lot depends on the network that wants to showcase our fight.”

As Andrade indicated, Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) earned the right to be in the tournament by beating Anthony Mundine last year in Australia.

“Boo Boo” knows Hatley from the amateurs and is keen to face his old rival in the pros.

“Mundine has been around awhile and I’m sure Hatley gained good experience that he will bring into our fight. I’m preparing for anything he brings into the ring. We fought twice in the amateurs (Andrade won both matches: The finals of the 2007 National Golden Gloves Tournament, 4-1, and quarterfinals of 2007 US Olympic Team Trials. The referee stopped the contest in round three) but, honestly, I’m not sure how much that means now. Some great amateurs don’t do as well as professionals but I’ve gotten even better every fight since turning pro.

“I’m not looking past him but I will be back on my throne as king of the 154-poundersÔǪagain!”

The winner of Andrade-Hatley will face the winner of No. 1-ranked Jermell Charlo vs. No. 2 John Jackson, who will meet for the vacant WBC title at date and venue to be decided.

“Jackson is a good, tough fighter who I defeated in the amateurs,” Andrade said when asked his thoughts on the contest. “He was doing a good job against Andy Lee (in June of 2014) until he got stopped. It shows that, if you bring the action to him, (Jackson) can be stopped.

“Part of me wants Charlo to win because we had the opportunity to fight before (a Dec. 2014 bout was mentioned but fell out) and now more is at stake and more money will be on the table. His belt will be on the line, not mine. I’m going to be the first to beat both Charlo twins; I want both of those boys. But the other half of me just wants the best man to win, Charlo or Jackson. I’m getting the winner.”

Having held the WBO strap for 18 months prior to being stripped for inactivity, Andrade wants that feeling of being a champion back.

“It is going to be unexplainable when it happens,” he said. “Just like it was when I won the (then-vacant) WBO title (against Vanes Martirosyan) with the odds stacked against me. The stakes are even higher this time around. I’m going to prove to the world that I’m a real player.

“This is going to be a turnaround year for me. Nobody can run in the WBC tournament. This is a great opportunity for me. This WBC tournament can do for me what the ‘Super Six Tournament’ did for Andre Ward. Winning the Super Six made Ward who he is today. There’s no more ducking me.”

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright

 

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