Demetrius Andrade enjoyed being a world champion but carrying around that golden trinket came with certain obligations that somewhat annoyed him. After winning the WBO middleweight title in 2018, Andrade believed it would be a gateway to bigger fights and even bigger paychecks. Four years later, however, no one took the bite.
Unification fights never became a reality and some of the division's bigger names rolled their eyes and simply went in another direction. In 2022, Andrade was placed in a hirsute situation.
Janibek Alimkhanuly moved himself into a position of power. He picked up the WBO interim title and was officially placed as the mandatory challenger to Andrade soon after. The former Olympian has always been willing to face his mandatories but several factors stopped him this time around.
For starters, Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) was looking for fights that would secure his legacy and line his pockets up with cash, Alimkhanuly provided neither. Also, more importantly, Andrade claimed that he was unable to make weight. So, somewhat reluctantly, he ditched his title and moved up to the super middleweight division.
A win over Demond Nicholson was a walk in the park but recently, against David Benavidez, Andrade came out on the losing end for the first time in his career.
Andre Rozier, one of Andrade’s trainers, watched as his fighter struggled with the size and strength of a much bigger man. Now, team Andrade will huddle up and think about their next move. Although the decision isn’t solely in the hands of Rozier, if it was, he would instruct his gifted fighter to return to familiar territory.
“I’d like to see him make an attempt to go back to 160,” Rozier told BoxingScene.com during a recent interview. “If (Erislandy) Lara can come up from 54 at the age of 40 plus and be a world champion, I know Boo Boo can wreck the division.”
To a large extent, the middleweight division is viewed as a barren weight class. Gennadiy Golovkin appears to be done with the sport of boxing and the division’s former big names such as Jaime Munguia, Daniel Jacobs, Canelo Alvarez, and Jermall Charlo - are all competing essentially elsewhere.
Andrade reveres Rozier, and his words could ultimately hold weight. Making those grueling cuts to 160 pounds has always been arduous for the former two-division champ, but Rozier believes the sacrifice would be worth it.
Currently, Lara, Alimkhanuly, along with Charlo and Carlos Adames hold at least a piece of the championship pie at 160 pounds. When asked who he would like to see Andrade take on if he were to return, Rozier revealed that any of those previously mentioned names could get it.
“All of them.”