By Keith Idec
Demetrius Andrade didn’t know anything about Alantez Fox until a few weeks ago.
He still has a lot of respect for the unknown, undefeated fighter because Fox is willing to do something most of Andrade’s targeted opponents haven’t done by agreeing to fight him. Andrade and Fox will meet Saturday night as part of an HBO “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York (10:05 p.m. ET/PT).
“The only guy that was willing to get in the ring with me right now, on the notice that we both got, is Alantez Fox,” Andrade told BoxingScene.com. “That’s the guy that’s in front of me, that’s the guy I’m gonna take out and after that, we can talk about anybody else that’s willing to get in there.”
Andrade has grown tired of calling out fellow 154-pound champions, most notably Erislandy Lara, who owns the WBA “super” and IBO titles. They’ve traded challenges and insults recently, but Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs), the WBA world super welterweight champion, took the fight against Fox (23-0-1, 11 KOs) at middleweight because he didn’t want to wait any longer for the right fight in the weight class in which he owns a title.
“We could do this same stuff over and over and over,” Andrade said. “I call out this guy, call out that guy, but they either don’t respond or they don’t get in the ring, and we’re left with the same thing, who to fight. Alantez Fox was man enough and willing enough to get in there with me on October 21st, so everybody else is out of the picture right now.”
The 29-year-old Andrade, a 2008 Olympian from Providence, Rhode Island, is open to remaining at 160 pounds or returning to 154.
The undefeated southpaw’s new three-fight contract with HBO eventually could afford him opportunities to face elite middleweights contractually tied to the network. That group includes Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs.
“I’ll cross that border when I get to it,” Andrade said. “Right now, I’m looking at this fight at 160 pounds. I’ve called people out and tried to get the popular, name guys [at 154 pounds], and it didn’t happen. So I must look elsewhere.
“This fight’s at middleweight. At this point, I could be the best 154-pounder in the world. But if I don’t fight, how am I the best? Now I’m taking a challenge by moving up to the next weight class. I’m taking it very seriously because it’s a bigger weight class and I’m gonna be in there with bigger guys. So I definitely have to bring my ‘A’ game. To make noise and to keep myself alive, this is what needs to happen.”
HBO’s main event Saturday night will match Panama’s Jezreel Corrales (22-1, 8 KOs, 1 NC) against Puerto Rico’s Alberto Machado (18-0, 15 KOs) in a 12-round fight for Corrales’ WBA super featherweight title. The telecast also will include delayed coverage of a 118-pound title unification bout between Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett (17-0, 9 KOs), the IBF bantamweight champ, and Kazakhstan’s Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18 KOs), the WBA bantamweight champ, from SSE Arena in Belfast.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.