By Steve Kim
According to this prior report on BoxingScene.com penned by Keith Idec, Demetrius Andrade, turned down an opportunity to face Sergey Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs) on December 16th as part of an HBO broadcast.
“We were in the ninth inning of negotiations to fight Andrade and had agreed on pretty much everything,” said Keith Connolly, Derevyanchenko's manager, to BoxingScene.com. “We were told by his people that he was ready and that he had agreed. But then, at the last second, he pulled out.
“He claimed he didn’t have enough time [to get ready], but these negotiations took place seven weeks before the fight date. So that’s plenty of time. If you think you’re gonna take the fight, you start training right away.”
But Matt Rowland of Banner Promotions, who promote Andrade, wanted to clear the air.
"It's a fight that we'll definitely make. Derevyanchenko's not that good. He's right in front of you, he's tailor made for Demetrius - it's the perfect fight for Demetrius. We didn't turn down the fight," Rowland told BoxingScene.com.
Andrade (25-0, 16 KO's), who recently entered into a multi-fight agreement with HBO, defeated Alantez Fox on October 21st.
Rowland countered the claims of Derevyancheko's manager:
"Connolly says that negotiating in October... well, we didn't find out about this fight from Peter Nelson (Executive V.P. of HBO Sports) till the second week of November and we were already told by HBO that there was no fight for Demetrius till the first quarter of next year.
"We still tried to make the fight, Lou (DiBella, the promoter of Derevyanchenko) I guess was having trouble with Connolly. They were saying there was a management dispute, promotional dispute. I didn't really know but I guess they worked it out."
Rowland makes it clear - "Our goal was to try to make that fight the first quarter of 2018."
And he believes this potential match-up can be salvaged.
"Yeah, I think so," says Rowland. "Because listen, we only knew about the fight four weeks before the scheduled date. Even HBO was in agreement that it was just too crazy. So if we actually pulled out like Connolly says, like we did something terrible like he said - why isn't his guy fighting December 16th?"
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.