Demetrius Andrade has arrived at a familiar place. has confirmed that the WBO interim super middleweight title fight between Providence’s Andrade and England’s Zach Parker will head to a purse bid hearing. The development comes at the tail end of a second ten-day negotiation period granted for the two sides to work out terms, which apparently still wasn’t enough time to get the fight over the line.

The fight will now be made available to the highest bidder during a scheduled February 25 purse bid hearing, which will be conducted from WBO headquarters in San Juan.

"Having the time frame provided by this Committee elapsed without any communication from either party as to whether an agreement was reached, on February 10, 2022, this Committee issued an order requesting that the parties advise the WBO within 24 hours of the status of the negotiations if any, or purse bid would be called accordingly," Luis Batista-Salas declared to Matchroom Boxing (Andrade) and Queensberry Promotions (Parker) in an official letter, a copy of which was obtained by "On the same day, the parties jointly requested an additional 10-day extension to finalize the negotiations. 

"Notwithstanding the foregoing, as of the writing of this letter, no agreement has been reached and therefore, we must proceed per our governing rules and regulations."

The minimum accepted bid for a sanctioned super middleweight fight is $300,000.

The pairing of Andrade (31-0, 19KOs) and Parker (22-0, 16KOs) brought longtime promotional rivals Eddie Hearn and Hall of Fame-enshrined Frank Warren to the negotiating table. The two sides can still reach a deal up to just prior to the start of the February 25 purse bid hearing, although the fight has remained in limbo for more than two months. Andrade considered a move to super middleweight as an alternative to his previously ordered mandatory WBO middleweight title fight with Kazakhstan’s Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7KOs). A fight with Parker was in play during the beginning of the negotiation period shortly after the WBO ordered Andrade-Alimkhanuly last November 30.

Too much time had elapsed without a deal in place for the super middleweight fight, leaving the sanctioning body to call a purse bid hearing for Andrade-Alimkhanuly. The session has since endured four separate delays before being tabled once Andrade-Parker was officially back in play as one of two interim title fights ordered January 28 by the WBO. 

If recent history is any indication, the next purse bid hearing can expect to be met with drama if not more time put on the clock.

England’s Parker has been the WBO super middleweight mandatory contender dating back to his eleventh-round knockout of Rohan Murdock in March 2020. Three stay busy wins have followed in an active 2021 campaign, including a fourth-round knockout of Marcus Morrison in his most recent bout last November 6 in Birmingham, England.

Andrade has made five defenses of his WBO middleweight title. His most recent win came in a second-round knockout of Ireland’s Jason Quigley last November 19 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The victory lap was cut short, as he was ordered to begin talks with Alimkhanuly just eleven days later. The flexibility at least allows Andrade to put that fight on hold, though it doesn’t eliminate his responsibilities at middleweight.

The winner of Andrade-Parker will hold an interim version of the WBO title currently owned by pound-for-pound king and undisputed WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-1-2, 39KOs). Ideally, Andrade—with a win over Parker—would be left to choose between remaining at super middleweight or returning to his WBO middleweight title reign.

The latter would leave him mandated to next face the winner of an approved WBO interim middleweight title fight involving Alimkhanuly. A more desirable scenario awaits the winner of Andrade-Parker, who will be conditionally approved to “unify” with the forthcoming WBC interim super middleweight titlist.

Former two-time WBC super middleweight titlist David Benavidez (25-0, 22KOs) and former IBF middleweight titleholder David Lemieux (43-4, 36KOs) await a fight date for their WBC interim title fight. The matchup was approved by the WBC during its annual convention last November, though the fight has yet to make its way to the Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) springtime schedule.

The WBC granted permission for Phoenix’s Benavidez—the current mandatory to the title he has twice held and lost outside the ring—to pursue such a route shortly after allowing Alvarez the freedom to next challenge WBC cruiserweight titlist Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu if he so chooses. Such a fight remains highly unlikely, though all four sanctioning bodies—WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO—are taking a wait-and-see approach with Alvarez’s next fight, with the opponent and the weight division at which he will complete both undetermined at the moment.

Andrade (through promoter Eddie Hearn) and Benavidez have both publicly stated a willingness to next face another with wins in their separate interim title fights. The two sanctioning bodies have casually agreed to pair up the winners to create something of a super mandatory challenger (which they will refer to as “unified mandatory”) for Alvarez.

Of course, Andrade and Parker must first make their way to the ring. Barring yet another delay, that next step shall be revealed with the forthcoming purse bid hearing. 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox