Demetrius Andrade is dead tired of fielding inquiries about the time he supposedly “ducked” Jermell Charlo.
Whatever it was, the incident stretches back to 2014–Barack Obama was president, HBO was still pumping money into boxing telecasts, and the coronavirus was a nonentity–when Andrade was scheduled to defend his junior middleweight title against Charlo on a Showtime broadcast in what would have the first of a three-fight deal.
The fight fell through, as did the multi-bout deal, after Andrade, who at the time was promoted by Joe DeGuardia and Artie Pellulo, began cozying up with the now-defunct boxing division of Roc Nation Sports. Litigation ensued. Eventually, Andrade parted with DeGuardia and Pellulo and linked up with Eddie Hearn and signed an exclusive with DAZN.
Since then, Andrade has spent no small energy criticizing potential opponents for being unwilling to face him in the ring. Among them is Jermall Charlo, the older brother of Jermell and current WBC middleweight titleholder. Critics of Andrade, however, have pointed out what they feel to be hypocritical behavior from the Rhode Island native, given that he had his chance to fight the younger Charlo several years ago.
“People are going to say what they want to say,” Andrade said on a recent episode of the SI Boxing Podcast. “Who cares? I can’t (talk about it) because it happened with the whole Roc Nation thing. I can’t get into details with that stuff. It’s not about me ducking him. I’m willing to fight him today. We’ll both make a lot more money. What does it matter if it didn't work it out the way it was supposed to work out? It just didn’t work out in my favor at that time.
“I was with Banner and Star Boxing— I had two promoters and they wanted me to go on Showtime and fight Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18KOs) on Showtime and what I mentioned came into play and it just didn’t work out. Nobody ducked him. I’m not ducking anybody.”
Since that promotional fiasco, Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) has seen his career get back on track under the eye of Eddie Hearn, although he has still yet to land a significant fight. According to Andrade, it has not been for lack of trying. Hearn himself has stated that he sent an email to Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) about a $7 million offer to face Andrade, while Charlo has responded by either outright denying the offer or claiming that the offer never went to his manager, Al Haymon, and hence was never serious.
“The people who keep saying I ducked him, that’s crazy,” continued Andrade. “Nobody’s ducking nobody. Afterward who went to their press conferences to try and make the fight happen? Who went to New York and said ‘what’s up’? Now things is better. I”m with Eddie Hearn, Matchroom, DAZN. We have a lot more money. We offered you $7 million.”
Asked why Charlo (reportedly) rejected the offer, Andrade pointed to a lack of ambition.
“Because he wants Danny Jacobs after the Jacobs-Rosado performance,” Andrade said. “He wants to fight the guys that are on the way out. He wants to fight the guys that don’t look as good. He doesn’t want real deals. I’m a real threat for everybody.
Jacobs squeaked by Gabe Rosado in a widely lampooned 168-pound fight in November in which Jacobs, the big favorite, appeared at times to be sleepwalking.
“I’m smarter than these guys. These guys aren’t smarter than me. I don’t care how hard somebody hits, or how fast somebody can be, when it comes to the mind, I’m out fighting everybody. Me losing to somebody at the top I’m fine with it. you’re the better man. But I’m still going to beat everybody else and make my way back to do what I need to do.”