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Demetrius Andrade hopes to one day face Gennady Golovkin

11
Apr
Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo: Naomi Fukuda

Demetrius Andrade expressed an idea on Monday that few boxers seem willing to convey.

Andrade, a former junior middleweight titleholder, said in his calm, cool way that he would like to climb another weight class and eventually challenge Genndady Golovkin for middleweight supremacy.

“When I move up to 160 I would like to get in there with GGG,” Andrade told RingTV.com on Monday. “I think that would be a great fight — if he’s around at that time. I would like to make a statement at 154 and then move up for a bigger, better fight.”

Andrade spoke of cleaning out the junior middleweight division and then, when he’s amassed the credentials, facing Golovkin. So the matchup with Golovkin is still a couple years away. But it’s part of his long-term strategy to leave his imprint on the sport.

“That fight could almost be like a Pacquiao-Mayweather,” the southpaw said. “But with the timeframe and what I have to do on my end to get into that hype to catapult me – it’s a work in progress. My job is to destroy the 154 division and yeah, that would be a big fight.”

Andrade spoke at a table filled with dishes of steak and slices of cheese cake and curly fries in Manhattan following a press conference to hype his upcoming fight. He’s scheduled to face Willie Nelson on June 11 in a WBC junior middleweight eliminator. It’s the co-feature to Ruslan Provodnikov’s junior welterweight bout with John Molina Jr. from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York on Showtime (9 p.m. ET). The opening bout of the Showtime tripleheader features Dejan Zlaticanlin taking on Emiliano Marsili for the vacant WBC lightweight title.

Andrade (22-0, 15 knockouts) sat at the end of the table, appearing relaxed and confident. A couple writers approached him to talk and Andrade smiled and obliged. Andrade is naturally friendly and outgoing. But he was basically left alone for most of the presser it seemed. Later, the 28-year-old stood outside with his manager Ed Farris along 50th street just off 8th Avenue, unnoticed by the foot traffic scurrying back to their offices after lunch.

Andrade is a 2008 U.S. Olympian and former WBO junior middleweight champion. But his career has been at a standstill for the past two years as he’s tried to disentangle himself from promotional missteps. Andrade filed suit against rival promoter Roc Nation Sports last July after he turned down a chance to defend his title against Jermell Charlo on Showtime for $550,000 in 2014; Andrade’s co-promoters, Star Boxing and Banner Promotions also filed suit in July against Roc Nation Sports, seeking $20 million in damages for allegedly interfering with their exclusive contract with Andrade and telling him to turn down the fight with Charlo.

Now, Andrade, who was stripped of his title for inactivity, is trying to get his career back on course. “That’s definitely the sport of boxing,” Andrade said in summing up the past couple years, including a spell of 18 months when he didn’t fight. “Have I made mistakes? Yes and no, but learning from your mistakes are the biggest things that you can gain from anything. I’m here now and I’m going to move forward.”

Farris was even more contrite at the press conference, admitting to the audience past missteps that were made in guiding Andrade and how thankful he is to Showtime for giving them another chance.

“Obviously it was a huge mistake,” Farris told RingTV.com of turning down the 2014 bout with Charlo. “And frankly I don’t know if we ever knew that we would ever get back. To have a kid who I consider the most talented 154-pound fighter on the planet and to not be able to get him in the ring for 18 months — you can’t even imagine what he went through.”

So it was almost refreshing to hear Andrade calling out Golovkin in one breath and then mentioning THE RING and WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in the next sentence. “He’s fought Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sugar Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto,” Andrade said of Alvarez. “So it’s like you’re missing Demetrius Andrade. That would be a great fight. Whoever else calls themselves the best would be a great fight.”

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