By Jake Donovan
After repeatedly watching plans fall through to partake in an IBF-sanctioned eliminator, former title challenger Librado Andrade has opted to move on and let his colleagues have it.
The hard-hitting Mexican contender recently revealed to Boxingscene.com his plans for the immediate future, which includes a stay-busy fight in hopes of properly acclimating himself with the ring once again before making (at least) one more true title run.
What won’t be included in the short-term is the chance to position himself within one fight of another title shot, even with yet another opportunity being presented to him.
“I’m working my way back up,” Andrade said in revealing plans to return to the ring on April 21, presumably on the undercard of the Showtime event Golden Boy has scheduled in Cancun. Bantamweight titlists Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno appear in the televised portion of the show in separate showcase bouts.
Andrade’s fight will most likely appear off-camera and against a non-descript opponent. The fight will be his first since dispatching journeyman Matt O’Brien last August in Mexico.
At the time, on the table was an IBF elimination bout with Donovan George later in the year. The bout was scheduled to take place last December and air on Televisa as well as Golden Boy’s online feed on AT&T U-Verse’s website. However, a discrepancy in the agreed upon ring size promoted George’s handlers to pull their guy out of the fight mere hours before the opening bell.
Negotiations for a rematch were ordered by the IBF, only for George to instead agree to terms for a showdown with Edwin Rodriguez that airs live on HBO on St Patrick’s Day. The move left Andrade out in the cold, and even more so when the IBF decided to just proceed with plans for former alphabet titlist Carl Froch to jump the line and face Lucian Bute in May.
After failing to secure any other meaningful fights, Andrade spoke with his handlers to determine his next best course of action. Of course, the moment one date is offered, a better opportunity – on paper – appears on your lap to throw a monkey wrench into your plans.
In this case, it would be in the form of yet another mandatory eliminator ordered. The IBF requested for the Mexican to face leading contender Adonis Stevenson to determine who would next face the winner of the upcoming title fight between Lucian Bute and Carl Froch.
Andrade is anxious to return to the title picture, even with two convincing losses to Bute. He also came up short in a 2007 challenge of then-unbeaten Mikkel Kessler. Despite the setbacks, the 33-year old is determined to climb his way back towards contention.
However, he’s been in the game long enough to recognize when he’s on the wrong end of an unfavorable situation and has elected to go a different route.
“The IBF ordered an eliminator between Stevenson and me. I said, ‘No, I’m not interested.’ Stevenson can have Bute. In the meantime I’m going to have a stay busy fight to get back (on track) and then I will go from there.”
Stevenson is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a frightening first round knockout of Jesus Gonzalez last month in what presently serves as the leading contender for Knockout of the Year.
The 34-year old southpaw – Haitian roots but now based out of Canada – is riding a four-fight win streak since suffering the lone loss of his career, an upset 2nd round knockout loss to Darnell Boone. All four wins have come by knockout and have taken place within the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, Andrade’s ring action has been limited to just one fight since suffering an upset loss to Aaron Pryor Jr. The extended training camp for the George fight that never was, coupled with several stops and starts in negotiations left the Mexican with the feeling that a fresh start was in order before moving towards another title shot.
“Stevenson is riding good momentum. Our fight would take place almost a year since my last fight (KO3 Matt O’Brien, last August). I’ve started to get ready for April 21, then we will go from there. It will ‘just’ be a fight (in April), then we can look at fights leading to title shots.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]