By Keith Idec
As frustrating as it has been for Demetrius Andrade to not get in the ring with Erislandy Lara, he’ll still tune in Saturday night.
Andrade is interested to see how Lara looks while defending his WBA and IBO 154-pound titles against Terrell Gausha in a fight Showtime will televise from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The undefeated Andrade doesn’t know a lot about Gausha, but he looks at Lara-Gausha the same way he views is own fight against unbeaten but unknown Alantez Fox a week later.
“I know his opponent went to the Olympics,” Andrade told BoxingScene.com. “I don’t really know what he’s gonna bring to the table. Nobody’s really seen much of him. It’s just like me fighting [Fox]. I can say Lara has the experience and has fought a lot of guys. But we don’t know what Lara’s gonna look like. He’s a lot older than me, so we don’t know if age has caught up to him or not, or if [Gausha] is good. I don’t know. I ain’t getting in the ring with him. That’s Lara’s job, to study him and all that stuff.”
Assuming Canelo Alvarez remains at middleweight, Lara is generally regarded as the top 154-pound boxer in the sport.
But the Cuban southpaw is 34 years old and is heavily favored in what is widely viewed as a second straight relatively easy optional defense of his WBA super welterweight title. In his last fight, Lara knocked out faded former WBA champion Yuri Foreman (34-3, 10 KOs, 1 NC) on January 13 in Hialeah, Florida.
Andrade won the WBA world super welterweight title seven months ago and has repeatedly called out Lara, the WBA’s “super” world 154-pound champion.
The WBA ordered representatives for Lara and Andrade to begin negotiations in September to fight next. Nevertheless, Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) agreed to face Cleveland’s Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs), which prompted Andrade to fight Fox.
Lara told BoxingScene.com for a story posted Monday that he is willing to fight Andrade after defending his title against Gausha. Andrade declined to discuss possibly boxing Lara sometime in 2018.
“I’m a fan of boxing and I’m always watching and supporting,” Andrade said. “But like I said, I’ve done called everybody out on that card [Saturday night] and other people that’s not on the card, and nobody showed up. So at this point, I can only care about who’s willing to get in there with me.”
To keep his options open in two weight classes, the 29-year-old Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs) will face Fox (23-0-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight match. Andrade, a 2008 Olympian from Providence, Rhode Island, and Fox will open HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader October 21 from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.