Middleweight world titlist Demetrius Andrade is in need of a new opponent for his 10-round nontitle bout at super middleweight on Nov. 27.
Andrade was due to face Dusty Hernandez-Harrison in the co-feature of the DAZN card headlined by a super middleweight fight between former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs and former title challenger Gabriel Rosado at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
However, Hernandez-Harrison is out of the fight, Paul Andrade, Demetrius’ father and trainer, told BoxingScene on Wednesday night.
“He was pulled. I was told the kid was weighing over 200 pounds and not close to weight with a month to go,” Andrade said, noting that the contract limit for the bout was 168 pounds. “But we are getting ready for a fight. Whoever it is doesn’t matter to us. We’re getting ready for a fight. We are in the gym and fighting next month. That’s all I know. We’ve been in training camp. My job is to get Demetrius ready to fight regardless of who we’re fighting.”
Matchroom Boxing announced the Andrade versus Hernandez-Harrison bout on Oct. 15 but apparently knew there were issues with Hernandez-Harrison because recently Matchroom Boxing inquired with Golden Boy Promotions about the availability of D'Mitrius Ballard for the bout, multiple sources told BoxingScene.
Although no offer was made at the time, there was an offer made on Wednesday night, a source with knowledge of the particulars said.
Ballard (20-0-1, 13 KOs), 27, of Temple Hills, Maryland, fought three times in 2019 and is coming off a 10-round majority draw with Brazil’s Yamaguchi Falcao last December in Costa Mesa, California.
Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs), 32, of Providence, Rhode Island, a former two-time junior middleweight world titlist, has made three middleweight title defenses but been unable to secure a major opponent. He would like to challenge super middleweight world titlist Billy Joe Saunders or fight middleweight titleholders Canelo Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin or Jermall Charlo but with those fighters have been unwilling to fight him. So, he decided to stay active by taking the fight on Nov. 27 and testing out a new division after initially saying he wouldn’t fight for the rest of the year. Andrade is coming off a ninth-round knockout of Luke Keeler on Jan. 30 in Miami.
“I thought long and hard about this and at the end of the day, this is another opportunity for me to go out there, get another win, look spectacular doing it, and testing what my body feels like at 168 pounds,” Andrade said when the fight was announced.
“Is this the big fight I wanted, or have been chasing? No. But what am I supposed to do? Sit here and keep waiting for someone to answer the phone or accept one of Eddie’s offers? I’m in the prime of my career and I want to stay busy and fight as much as possible. With everything going on with Covid, you don’t know what’s going to happen. I have the opportunity to fight now, and I’m taking it. My job is to go out there, take care of business on Nov. 27 and then 2021, it’s time for one of these big names to step up to the plate. You can’t duck me forever. Let’s give the fans what they want and deserve to see.”
Hernandez-Harrison (34-0-1, 20 KOs), 26, of Washington, D.C., a career-long welterweight/junior middleweight with no fights of note, went into a 2½-year layoff in 2016. He had legal issues stemming from an arrest on gun charges. He has won four fights in a row since resuming his career in March 2019 but has been boxing as a light heavyweight.
When the fight with Andrade was announced he was excited for it, saying at the time, “This is the opportunity I have been waiting for my entire life. This is why I started boxing. All of the time I have dedicated to this sport, I finally get my opportunity to show the world who I am and what I am capable of on Nov. 27. Demetrius talks a big game, and says he is the boogeyman of the division, but who has he fought? Then he goes out, fights whoever it is, runs around the ring, picks up a win and goes back to running his mouth. He says that he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world; then ok, so be it; on Nov. 27 I take his spot. I know that people are going to doubt me going into this fight, and that is fine. That fuels my energy. Keep doubting me. Andrade doesn’t know what he got himself into. He better be ready when we step into that ring because I coming for him.”
Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.