Demetrius Andrade will remain on the outside looking in as it relates to the biggest fights to be made in the middleweight division.

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has formally approved a request made by the team for Janibek Alimkhanuly to claim the mandatory contender slot in the middleweight division. With the ruling comes the call for Andrade to immediately enter negotiations for the next defense of his WBO middleweight title.

“The WBO World Championship Committee hereby orders the parties herein the commencement of the negotiations for the above-referenced Mandatory Middleweight Championship Contest,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee noted in an official to all involved parties, a copy of which has been obtained by “The parties are granted 20-days upon issuing this notice letter to negotiate and reach an agreement, or purse bid proceedings will be called per WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”

Terms must be agreed upon by December 20 to avoid a purse bid hearing. Either side can call for an immediate purse bid at any time, while an extension can also be requested if it is agreed by both parties that the additional time will result in a deal being struck.

Andrade is promoted by Matchroom Boxing. Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7KOs) is represented by Top Rank and manager Egis Klimas, the latter who petitioned the WBO to name the Kazakhstani middleweight as the mandatory challenge just one week ago.

Providence’s Andrade (31-0, 19KOs) is coming off a second-round knockout of Ireland’s Jason Quigley atop a November 19 DAZN telecast from Manchester, New Hampshire. The unbeaten two-division titlist was hoping for a much bigger fight for his next ring appearance, preferably a title unification bout with WBC titleholder Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22KOs) or the winner of the currently scheduled December 29 clash between WBA titlist Ryota Murata (16-2, 13KOs) and two-time and reigning IBF beltholder Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 35KOs) in Saitama, Japan.

Eddie Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Boxing has openly questioned why former WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia was able to remain the number-one contender at middleweight without being forced to enter a mandatory title fight. Andrade-Munguia is clearly a more desirable fight than the scenario that Andrade currently faces, which will be his second ordered mandatory title fight inside of a year. 

Andrade outpointed prior mandatory challenger Liam Williams this past April at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The bout was his first since the pandemic, nearly 15 months after a ninth-round stoppage of Ireland's Luke Keeler last January in Miami Gardens.

Alimkhanuly is coming off of back-to-back eighth-round stoppages, including his one-sided drubbing of former secondary WBA middleweight titlist Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam on November 20 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. The win came one night following Andrade’s early knockout of Quigley and with the immediate request to next enter a title fight.

Five months prior, Alimkhanuly similarly tore through former WBA secondary titlist Rob Brant in eight rounds this past June 26 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

If the fight heads to a purse bid hearing, all WBO-registered promoters will be eligible to participate. The minimum accepted bid is $200,000 for the fight.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox