Junior middleweight Jack Culcay was considered by many to be easy pickings for talented southpaw Demetrius Andrade but the Germany-based Ecuadorian had his moments in a 12-round split-decision defeat at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle on Saturday.
One judge gave the fight to Culcay by a score of 115-114, but was overruled by the other two officials who voted 116-112 in the American’s favor.
Andrade (24-0, 16 knockouts) was on a scouting mission in Round 1 but opened up in earnest in the second. The fighter known as “Boo Boo” punched in flurries and came very close to nailing Culcay with some powerful left hands. The home fighter cleverly avoided the worst of it, however, and bravely returned fire.
There was an accidental clash of heads in Round 3, after which both men stood toe-to-toe and produced some excellent two-way action. Culcay (22-2, 11 KOs) enjoyed a lot of success on the inside, whereas Andrade was perhaps guilty of rushing his work and made some uncharacteristic mistakes.
Inactivity was unquestionably a factor for Andrade who has averaged just one fight a year since 2014. Culcay, the much shorter man, took advantage of his poor timing and surprisingly dictated terms on the outside during some of the middle sessions.
The visitor finally found some rhythm in Round 10 when he switched orthodox. Andrade popped his opponent with some sharp combinations which were set up by an accurate left jab and located all the escape routes with quick feet. This was the first and only time where the former WBO junior middleweight titleholder looked a level above.
Andrade, who is rated No. 5 by THE RING at 154 pounds, had continued success in the 11th, but after dominating most of the 12th was momentarily stunned by a big combination in the closing seconds of the fight.
Editor’s Note: With the victory, Andrade claimed a WBA version of the junior middleweight title which is unrecognized by THE RING. The WBA 154-pound title is held by Erislandy Lara.
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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