Demetrius Andrade believes his big homecoming night will be the perfect showcase to secure blockbuster fights as he defends his WBO World Middleweight title against Maciej Sulecki on Saturday June 29 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Andrade (27-0 17 KOs) fights at home for the first time as a World champion in the second defense of the 160lb crown he landed in Boston in October against Walter Kautondokwa and then stopped Artur Akavov in New York in January in his first defense.
The two-weight World ruler now gets the chance to thrill his hometown fans against Sulecki (28-1 11 KOs), the Pole that landed the clash coming out on top of a rollercoaster clash with Gabriel Rosado in March – and believes that a stand-out performance as a hometown headliner will see him land the fights that he craves with Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin.
“Fighting at home is really exciting,” said Andrade. “In a way it’s more exciting for the fans in Providence as I've fought all over the world already. So, to give my hometown the chance to watch me display my skills, talent, work ethic is going to be great for them - they're going to see greatness from one of their own. I've got two full passports from travelling the world and it's a privilege to do that, to see the world and learn and gain experience, so to come home for such a big fight is great.
“I'm an Olympian and a two-weight World champion, but that's not enough because there’s a lot of people that haven't seen my talent displayed in the mainstream like some other fighters, like Canelo Alvarez, as Golden Boy did a great job moving him and GGG had great promotion too, but they're not the greatest talents out there, they are just the most popular. It's called prize fighting and I am looking to capitalize on that, with the capital.
“I've got air in me now. Should I have been the guy like Canelo with the machine behind him? Yeah, I could've been that, but it didn't fall that way for me, but now I'm here. I kept my focus in mind, body and soul and continued to grind, because anyone else, this boxing game is hard and people give up, especially when there's no money coming in as you have to pay the bills.
“I've been through the politics of boxing and found my way out of it, just like I've found my way to win in every fight. Being who I am and having the team around me has got me to the point where I'm headlining the Dunk as an undefeated World champion.
“Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA have realized the talent and the character that I am, and DAZN are doing a great job too, giving the different characters in the sport the exposure so that people can tune in outside the people we already know. Through the obstacles I've been through, they tried to sweep me under the rug, I got back up, wiped off the dirt and it's me again.
“To be the first Cape Verdean as an undisputed champion would be history and the same for New England, we've only really had Vinny Paz and that was 30 years ago. I'm continuing to catapult myself to be the best I can and set the bar high for others.”
Andrade’s clash with Sulecki is part of a blockbuster night of World championship boxing as Briton’s Kal Yafai defends his WBA World Super-Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Norbelto Jimenez and former Heavyweight king Joseph Parker takes on Australian former World title challenger Alex Leapai.
Boston’s Mark DeLuca faces Canadian Brandon Brewer over ten rounds at Super-Welterweight, young talents Alexis Espino and Raymond Ford taste their third action in the paid ranks, local favorite Anthony Marsella faces Jose Aubel, with another unbeaten Providence fighter Anthony Concepcion also featuring.