Demetrius Andrade and Zach Parker are back at the negotiating table.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBO has approved a request by Andrade for an interim super middleweight title to be at stake in his targeted fight with England’s Parker. The fight will be formally ordered by the sanctioning body on Tuesday, which will come with a ten-day negotiation period to reach terms. In the event that a deal is not secured in that time, the ordered fight will then head to a purse hid hearing.
Andrade is represented in talks by manager Ed Farris and Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions. Parker fights under Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions banner and is managed by Neil Marsh.
The development comes barely 24 hours after Farris contacted the WBO to inform that Providence’s Andrade (31-0, 19KOs) plans to vacate his middleweight title in exchange for a run at super middleweight.
Andrade was previously ordered to face interim middleweight titlist Janibek Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8KOs) in a fight that was initially ordered nine months, but canceled when Andrade opted a move to super middleweight. It was then re-ordered once the unbeaten southpaw was deemed unfit to proceed with his fight against Parker in a manner that would allow him to honor his middleweight mandatory title defense obligation. Andrade pulled out of the scheduled May 21 clash—to have taken place in Parker’s hometown of Derby, England—with a shoulder injury, seemingly killing off the fight.
The decision to vacate the WBO middleweight title breathes new life into the opportunity at super middleweight, where the WBO’s number one contender once again braces for the challenge.
“Shit house bottled it last time,” Parker said of Andrade upon seeing BoxingScene.com’s breaking news story on Monday. “See if he’s gonna step up to the plate this time.”
The canceled fight has left Parker out of the ring since a fourth-round knockout of Marcus Morrison last November 6 in Birmingham, England. He advanced to the top of the WBO super middleweight rankings following a March 2020 eleventh-round knockout of Rohan Murdock in Manchester, England. The win is a significant part of his current five-fight knockout streak.
Andrade has long sought to face Parker, or seemingly any opportunity other than yet another low-profile middleweight title defense. Five such fights graced his four-year title reign, including a second-round knockout of Ireland’s Jason Quigley last November 19 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Alimkhanuly scored an eighth-round knockout of Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam one night later in Las Vegas, with the WBO immediately moving to order Andrade-Alimkhanuly by the end of the month.
The two were given 20 days to work out terms, though Andrade’s side was already angling for an interim title fight with Parker (22-0, 16KOs), who has been the number-one contender at 168 pounds since 2020. The WBO initially rejected the proposal, only to subsequently allow after four postponed purse bid dates came of attempting to move forward with Andrade-Alimkhanuly.
Queensberry Promotions won the right to Andrade-Parker, outbidding Matchroom Boxing who still had Andrade under contract at the time. Andrade and Matchroom have since parted ways, with Salita entering the mix on the promise of delivering a higher-profile fight with Chris Eubank Jr. The commitment came, oddly, while Andrade was still on the hook to next face Alimkhanuly who advanced from mandatory to interim titlist following a second-round knockout of Danny Dignum on May 21 in Las Vegas.
Andrade’s side used the entire 30-day negotiation period dating back to the reorder point on July 20, before deciding that his stay at 160 was through.
While the Andrade-Parker winner will become the interim super middleweight titlist, there is not yet a direct path to the full title.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs) presently reigns as the undisputed champion and will next defend in a trilogy clash with Genandiy Golovkin (42-1-1, 37KOs) on September 17 in Las Vegas. All four sanctioning bodies will await the outcome of the fight before determining the next course of action for the winner.
The WBO previously stated that Alvarez had 18 months from the point of his knockout win over Caleb Plant last November 6 to honor his next mandatory title challenge. The win over Plant saw Alvarez become the division’s first-ever fully undisputed champion in its 40-year history.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox