WASHINGTON – Demetrius Andrade was very aggressive at times during his super middleweight debut Saturday night.
The former middleweight and junior middleweight champion seemed determined to entertain and produce a knockout in his first fight for Premier Boxing Champions’ Al Haymon. Andrade was credited with two knockdowns – one in the second round and another in the 10th round – but Demond Nicholson went the 10-round distance with him at Capital One Arena.
Each of the three judges scored it a shutout for Andrade in the opener of Showtime’s four-fight pay-per-view telecast, which will feature lightweights Gervonta Davis and Hector Luis Garcia in the main event. Steven Rados, Wayne Smith and Paul Wallace all had it 100-88 for the awkward southpaw.
The 34-year-old Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) went off as a 20-1 favorite, according to most sportsbooks. The 29-year-old Nicholson (26-5-1, 22 KOs), of nearby Laurel, Maryland, has been knocked out twice, which is among the reasons he was such a big underdog.
Andrade ended a 13-month layoff against Nicholson. The 2008 U.S. Olympian hadn’t boxed before Saturday night since he stopped Ireland’s Jason Quigley in the second round of their fight for Andrade’s WBO middleweight title in November 2021 at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Andrade hopes his new alignment with Haymon’s company will help him land the fight the Providence, Rhode Island native has long sought – a showdown with WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs). Beating Nicholson at least helped the heavily favored Andrade become accustomed to fighting in the super middleweight division.
Andrade landed a left hand that caused a knockdown in the final minute of the 10th round because Nicholson used his left glove to keep himself from falling to the canvas.
A left hand by Andrade backed Nicholson into the ropes with just over two minutes on the clock in the ninth round.
Andrade and Nicholson talked trash to each other at the start of the seventh round. Andrade fired off a combination several seconds later, but Nicholson blocked most of those punches.
Andrade landed a left uppercut and then a straight left with just over a minute to go in the seventh round. Nicholson hit the canvas just before the seventh round concluded, but referee Malik Waleed ruled that he held and hit Nicholson to send him down.
Two left hands by Andrade backed up Nicholson with just under a minute remaining in the sixth round. Andrade also connected with a three-punch combination a few seconds before the sixth round concluded.
Andrade went down a little less than a minute into the fifth round. Waleed didn’t call it a knockdown, despite that Nicholson landed a left-handed body blow before Andrade fell to the seat of his trunks.
Andrade appeared to fight on sturdy legs after he got up and threw hard shots at Nicholson.
Nicholson protected himself better during the fourth round than he had in the previous three rounds.
A left hand by Andrade made Nicholson reset his feet with just under 25 seconds to go in the third round. Andrade’s multi-punch combination connected a little less than a minute into the third round.
Nicholson went down with 1:13 on the clock in the second round. Nicholson contended that he slipped after blocking one of Andrade’s punches with his right glove.
A left to the body by Andrade landed 1:15 into the second round.
Andrade attacked Nicholson as soon as their fight started, landed a left hand and backed his opponent into the ropes. Nicholson tied up Andrade with a minute to go in the opening round, when Andrade attempted to unload on him.
An aggressive Andrade connected with a left uppercut and then a right hook just before the first round ended.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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