NEW YORK - In his first title defense this Saturday night, undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior middleweight champion Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs) has nothing but bad intentions on his mind for mandatory challenger Brian "The Lion" Rose (25-1-1, 7 KOs).
Andrade vs. Rose is the 12-round co-feature, airing on HBO live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on a card presented by Andrade's co-promoters, Banner Promotions and Star Boxing, along with Top Rank. The main event is a 12-round bout between WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) and unbeaten challenger Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs).
The 26-year-old Andrade, fighting out of Providence, captured the vacant WBO 154-pound title last November on HBO, defeating previously unbeaten 2004 U.S. Olympian Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KOs) by way of a 12-round decision.
"Training camp was great," Andrade said. "I worked on getting smarter and harder. We did some things differently than last camp: even faster movements, focusing on what parts of the body to hit, and being explosive. We worked on an all-around plan."
A 2008 U.S. Olympian and 2007 World Championships gold medal winner, Andrade plans to make a major statement in hopes his performance propels him into a high-profile fight against the winner of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara, possibly Floyd Mayweather, Jr. before he retires next year, or a unification fight with Carlos Molino.
"I'm very excited about this opportunity for Demetrius," Andrade's manager Ed Farris added. "Hopefully, we'll get a spectacular win and provide fans with the kind of performance that they deserve. They will see Demetrius' incredible potential and special gifts if he does what he's capable of in the ring. Hopefully, they will become excited to see him guys like Mayweather and Alvarez. I know Demetrius can beat every one of the top guys out there. Whether politics in this sport will allow Demetrius the opportunity to show the world his tremendous ability, well, that's another story. I know one thing, though, sooner or later Demetrius Andrade will be recognized as one of the most talented boxers in the world and boxing politics won't stop him from eventually getting to the top."
The gifted boxer of Cape Verdean heritage is not looking past his United Kingdom challenger. "Everybody in boxing has pop," Andrade noted about Rose's power in contrast to his seven knockouts in 25 wins. "I just have to go in and do what I do best - pick him apart.
"I'm a bad man! I'm going to whip his ass. He's getting knocked out. Fans are going to see why none of the top guys in my division want to fight me. I'm taking over!"