Any combination of Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, and Gennady Golovkin would get us a step closer to knowing who truly rules middleweight now that Saul Alvarez has left the division behind.

Saturday isn’t that first step.

It isn’t clear we will ever see any steps between the three of them. Middleweight may remain adrift until the scene changes in a bigger way. It doesn’t mean we won’t have some fine fights along the way. Looking at the present landscape, Charlo and Golovkin both had wins in excellent scraps with Sergey Derevyanchenko.

We might have a sleeper on tap Saturday (DAZN, 3 PM). 

Since consecutive losses to Liam Smith, Andrade’s challenger this weekend Liam Williams has been on a roll. Williams has won seven straight, all of them by knockout, with three of his last four ending inside two frames. The competition hasn’t been mindblowing but it includes a fifth-round stoppage of Alantez Fox. Fox went the route with Andrade. 

Is there a chance of an upset, or at least a really good scrap?

Let’s get into it. 

Stats and Stakes

Demetrius Andrade

Age: 33

Title: WBO middleweight (2018-Present, 3 Defenses)

Previous Titles: WBO Jr. middleweight (2014-15, 1 Defense) 

Height: 6’0  

Weight: 159 ½ lbs.

Stance: Southpaw

Hails from: Providence, Rhode Island

Record: 29-0, 18 KO

Press Rankings: #3 (TBRB, Ring, ESPN), #4 (Boxing News, BoxRec)

Record in Major Title Fights: 6-0, 3 KO (7-0, 3 KO including WBA sub-title fights)

Last Five Opponents: 104-5-2 (.946)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB/Ring Rated Foes: Vanes Martirosyan SD12; Willie Nelson TKO12; Walter Kautondokwa UD12; Maciej Sulecki UD12  

Additional Results, Current/Former Champions/Titlists Faced: None


Liam Williams

Age: 28

Title/Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’10 

Weight: 160 lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Clydach Vale, Wales, United Kingdom

Record: 23-2-1, 18 KO, 1 KOBY

Press Rankings: #8 (TBRB, Ring, Boxing News, BoxRec)

Record in Major Title Fights: 0-0 (0-1, 1 KOBY including interim title fights) 

Last Five Opponents: 109-12-5 (.885)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB/Ring Rated Foes: Liam Smith RTD9, Liam Smith L12

Additional Results, Current/Former Champions/Titlists Faced: None

The Pick: A 2007 World Amateur champion and 2008 Olympic quarterfinalist, there has never been any question about the talent of Andrade. Long, awkward, fast, slick; the pieces are all there. They haven’t always been on display at the same time. Add in activity and management issues over the years and well over a decade into his career he is a fighter with belts in two weight classes and yet little imprint on the big picture of the sport. 

Some of that is being a fighter who can be a risk without massive reward. Some of it can be an employment of tactics that aren’t always crowd pleasing. Saturday could be a tonic for the latter and add a little to the reward side of the former. 

Williams, with greater aggression, a clever right hand, and hammering body work, has put himself in position to make a run at Andrade. How realistic that run will be could depend on Andrade. The come forward style of Williams should give Andrade opportunities to counter and impress at a moment where he could use it. The taller, longer Andrade is capable of picking Williams apart if he comes to make a statement.

Williams is capable of making this a battle if Andrade gives too much ground and plays cute.

The thinking here is Andrade rises to the occasion at a moment when giving the world any excuse to avoid him would be especially damaging given his advancing age. The pick is Andrade on cuts in a quality outing.   

Rold Picks 2021: 19-3

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at