By Francisco Salazar
Demetrius Andrade considers himself to be the best fighter at 154 pounds. And he is willing to prove it against any of the titleholders and contenders in the division.
Seeing is believing as Andrade has made more news outside the ring than handling business inside of it.
Andrade is eager to write a new chapter in his career with a win Saturday night when he challenges WBA World junior middleweight titleholder Jack Culcay.
The 12 round bout will take place at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Saturday will mark the second time Andrade will fight for a world title belt. Andrade won the vacant WBO junior middleweight title in November of 2013, when he defeated Vanes Martirosyan by split decision.
Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs) defended the title once (a seventh round knockout win over Brian Rose), but was stripped by the WBO in early August of 2015 for inactivity. This happened around the same time Andrade sued Roc Nation for not following through on a payment of over half a million dollars.
There were reports that Andrade, who is promoted by Banner Promotions, was speaking with manager/ advisor Al Haymon.
Despite these distractions that hung over him, Andrade is highly-motivated to face Culcay.
"I'm definitely going in there and box to a decision," Andrade told BoxingScene.com earlier this week.
Andrade, who resides in Providence, Rhode Island, will be fighting for the first time in his career outside the United States.
"If this is the journey that I have to take in my career to win a world title belt, so be it," said Andrade.
A win by Andrade could put him into the mix with the top fighters at 154 pounds. Andrade could face the winner of the fight between Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley in a unification.
A possible bout with Miguel Cotto could be in the cards or Andrade could move up in weight to the middleweight division in the hopes of landing a bout against Gennady Golovkin or Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
Despite the success the other titleholders at 154 pounds have achieved, Andrade believes he is the top fighter in the division.
"When I fought and beat Willie Nelson (n June 11), no one called me out. None of the guys, the so-called big guys, wanted to face me."
"You have this guy (Erickson Lubin) who faces someone like (Jorge) Cota and people think he's some big fighter. I don't train for fighters like Cota. I train to fight the best the division. That's the difference between myself and everyone at 154 pounds. I don't chase fighters. I'm the best at 154 pounds."
Andrade is never at a loss for words, utilizing the gift of gab and has backed up everything he has said thus far as a pro.
Boxing fans have expressed for Andrade to be more active and that wish may come true in 2017.
"If these fighters believe I'm such an easy fighter to beat, then how come they're not lining up to fight me. I'm willing to take risks. Are these other fighters at 154 pounds willing to do so?"
"I'm going to go out and continue being the best I know how to be. I'm going to win the (WBA) title and bring it back home to the U.S."
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing