Demetrius Andrade will have to wait for another hometown fight.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Andrade’s mandated WBO middleweight title defense against Liam Williams will be held April 17 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Eddie Hearn, Andrade’s promoter, explored bringing the DAZN card headlined by Andrade and Williams to Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, the city where Andrade was born and raised.
COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Rhode Island recently eliminated Dunkin Donuts Center as a potential venue.
Matchroom promoted three shows overall at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the months of November and December. A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the Andrade-Williams card at that venue.
The 33-year-old Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) will end a 14-month layoff when he faces Wales’ Williams, the mandatory challenger for his WBO 160-pound championship. The unbeaten southpaw hasn’t fought since he stopped Ireland’s Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs) in the ninth round of an optional title defense in January 2020 at Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami.
Andrade’s challenger has been more active than the champion.
Williams (23-2-1, 18 KOs) knocked out England’s Andrew Robinson (24-5-1, 7 KOs) with a left hook to the body in the first round of an October 10 bout in Stratford, England. The 28-year-old Williams, the WBO’s second-ranked challenger for Andrade’s championship, has won seven straight bouts by knockout or technical knockout since England’s Liam Smith (29-2-1, 16 KOs) beat him by majority decision in their 12-round junior middleweight rematch in November 2017 in Newcastle, England.
Hearn announced February 10 that his company, Matchroom Boxing, avoided a purse bid scheduled for that day by reaching an agreement with Andrade and Williams.
Andrade had hoped to fight in Providence for the second time in his past three fights. In the bout before he knocked out Keeler, Andrade defeated Poland’s Maciej Sulecki (29-2, 11 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight in June 2019 at Dunkin Donuts Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.