Frank Warren has reclaimed the rescheduled Demetrius Andrade-Zach Parker interim title fight and at a considerable discount.
The Hall of Fame promoter’s Queensberry Promotions claimed promotional rights to the interim WBO super middleweight title fight, submitting $305,000 as the lone bidder during the purse bid hearing held Thursday via Zoom. Queensberry’s Andy Ayling informed the WBO of the company’s plans to stage the fight on November 5 in either London, Nottingham or Parker’s hometown of Derby, England.
The bid barely exceeded the $300,000 minimum required by the WBO. Per purse bid rules, a twenty-percent deposit of the winning amount ($61,000) must be submitted to the San Juan-headquartered sanctioning body within two business days. Purse bid terms call for Andrade to earn
It remains to be seen if Andrade (31-0, 19KOs) still goes through with the fight, as he is due to make less than 17-percent of the payday that would have come from their originally scheduled May 21 date in Derby.
Queensberry won the rights to the fight earlier this year, submitting a bid of $1,834,050 to outpace Matchroom Boxing, Andrade’s promoter at the time who bid $1,750,000. Andrade was due 65-percent of the winning bid ($1,192,132.50) but was forced to withdraw from the fight after suffering a shoulder injury that put him on the shelf for roughly four months.
The terms of the rescheduled purse bid called for a 60/40 split in Andrade’s favor “if the fight is held in the country of origin, residence, or nationality of one of the contenders,” per Section 13 (2)(b) of WBO rules. It still only leaves Andrade with a payday of just $183,000, though not uncommon for a side deal to be worked out under such circumstances to further entice participants to move forward with the fight.
The latest purse bid came after a two-day delay, with Tuesday’s originally scheduled session postponed due to the island-wide damage inflicted by Hurricane Fiona. Much of Puerto Rico was left without power or water and most areas flooded as a result of the natural disaster.
Andrade (31-0, 19KOs) has been out of the ring since last November. The now former two-division titlist has spent all of 2022 wading through purse bid delays and also recovering from shoulder surgery which delayed his one scheduled fight this year. It is also a year that saw the 34-year-old southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island become a former two-division titlist, vacating his WBO middleweight title in lieu of honoring a mandatory defense in a title consolidation clash with Janibek Alimkhanuly.
Andrade-Parker was first approved earlier this year for an interim super middleweight title by the WBO, who also sanctioned an interim middleweight title fight between Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8KOs) and England’s Danny Dignum. Both fights came about at the request of Andrade campaigning at super middleweight rather than take another undesirable fight at middleweight where he miserably failed in securing coveted unification bouts.
Alimkhanuly-Dignum was the only bout of the two interim title fights to see the light of day. Alimkhanuly won by second-round knockout, along with the guarantee of either receiving a shot at Andrade by November or being upgraded to full titlist by default.
The latter occurred once Andrade decided earlier this summer that he was done with the middleweight division, vacating his title just as a rescheduled Andrade-Alimkhanuly purse bid hearing was due to take place. It at least put an immediate end to the process. The previously ordered title fight saw three separate purse bid postponements—twice due to granted extensions and once due to the WBO having temporarily closed its office due to a staff member testing positive for Covid.
The path to securing a fight with Parker (22-0, 16KOs) has been just as messy.
Andrade and Matchroom initially floated the proposal to the WBO shortly after the sanctioning body ordered Andrade-Alimkhanuly last November 30. The sanctioning was willing to consider the interim super middleweight title fight since its full title claimant, undisputed WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO champ Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs) was exploring fights outside the weight for his yet-to-be-announced next fight.
Too much time had elapsed, prompting the WBO to call for a purse bid hearing to determine promotional rights for the ordered middleweight title fight. The session was delayed several times, often enough for Andrade-Parker to be put back into play. The concessions made by Andrade were enough to convince the WBO to bless the interim super middleweight title fight, along with ordering a similar fight at middleweight.
Parker has held the number-one spot in the WBO super middleweight rankings since 2020, having previously won a sanctioned title eliminator in a March 2020 11th round knockout of Rohan Murdock.
Parker has since won three fights, including a fourth-round stoppage of Marcus Morrison last November 6 in Birmingham, England. The win came less than two weeks prior to Andrade’s fifth and most recent WBO middleweight title defense, a second-round knockout of Ireland’s Jason Quigley last November 19 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The 27-year-old Brit will now have a regional advantage for the biggest fight of his career to date, thanks to his promoter stepping up when it mattered the most.
Andrade made six successful defenses of the WBO middleweight title which he claimed in an October 2018 vacant title fight win over Walter Kautondokwa. The run followed two separate junior middleweight title reigns, both beginning with wins in vacant title fights. The 2008 U.S. Olympian and former two-division titlist has yet to face and beat a former or current primary titleholder through 14 years as a pro.
That status won’t change on November 5, regardless of whether he still goes through with the fight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox