By Jake Donovan
Demetrius Andrade continues to develop into one of the brightest young stars in the game. The former Olympian cruised to a 7th round stoppage over England's Brian Rose in their 154 lb. title fight Saturday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The bout served as the evening's HBO-televised co-feature, in chief support to Ruslan Provodnikov's 140 lb. title defense versus Chris Algieri.
Both fighters playfully taunted each other during Friday's weigh-in, showing no fear heading into their title fight. Once the bell rang on Saturday evening, however, it was never a contest. Andrade looked like a fighter with world-class pedigree as he made the first defense of the 154 lb. title he won after decisioning Vanes Martirosyan last November.
The fight was Andrade's first ring performance since then, offering a disciplined performance that featured a well-distributed mix of boxing and punching.
Andrade struck early, flooring Rose with a straight left hand midway through the opening round. Rose had only been down once before as a pro, coming in the lone stoppage loss of his career prior to Saturday evening.
That stat line changed in a hurry, as the Brit was in well over his head on the championship level. Andrade remained as calm as an assassin, confident that he would never lose control of the fight.
Proof of his control surfaced in round three, when Andrade scored the second knockdown of the fight. This one came courtest of a counter right hook, putting Rose flat on his back. The sequence wasn't enough to cause the threat of a knockout, but certainly enough to let the challenger know he had no chance of turning things around.
The ensuing rounds saw Andrade pour it on, though his passion for pure boxing didn't entirely sit well with the blood-thirsty crowd on hand who began to leak out a spattering of boos.
Jeers quickly turned to cheers in round seven, when Andrade picked up the aggression and prompted a stoppage. Rose's nose was broken by this point, and hadn't won a round. There wouldn't have been any questions asked had the fight been stopped in between rounds.
Instead, the challenger was given the chance to fight his way out of trouble. When that didn't happen, the fight was stopped, coming at 1:19 of round seven.
Andrade rolls to 21-0 (14KO). The 26-year old continues to remain head and shoulders among the rest of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Boxing squad, as he was the first among the team to win a major title and now the first to defend a belt in the pro ranks.
Rose falls to 25-2-1 (7KO). The bout was his first major title fight, and also his first time fighting in the United States.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox