There may be more than just corporate politics at play preventing Demetrius Andrade from a bout with WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo.
In a recent interview, Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza was asked about a potential Charlo-Andrade fight landing on the airwaves of the network at some point down the line. Andrade, a two-division titlist from Rhode Island, has long been the subject of a proposed fight with Houston-based Charlo, but the two have never been able to agree to a fight. The most significant impediment in the recent past had to do with the conflicting promotional affiliations of both fighters; Andrade, until recently, was backed by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, which does exclusive business with DAZN, while Charlo is backed by Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions, which deals exclusively with Showtime and Fox.
Andrade is now presumably working with Michigan-based promoter Dmitry Salita, whose best known client is Claressa Shields.
Espinoza suggested the bigger issue preventing a Charlo-Andrade fight is that it simply has scant commercial appeal. Espinoza said that it is not a matchup that boxing fans are necessarily calling for, unlike, say, an undisputed welterweight bout between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
“I don’t hear anybody, except for a very few notable people, who are pushing for Charlo-Andrade,” Espinoza told FightHype.com “I don’t really see—it’s not something I see on social media or when I’m out in public that people say, ‘that’s the fight you have to make’. I just don’t. A part of it is Andrade hasn’t been as visible as he’s been on DAZN fighting guys who don’t have the biggest names.
“I just don’t think there’s a whole lot of demand for it.”
Espinoza said while there is a possibility to still make the fight, he believes there are far more consumer-friendly and consequential matchups for Charlo than a ring date with Andrade. That includes fights with either 168-pound contender David Benavidez or 168-pound undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez.
“I’m not saying we wouldn’t do it (make Charlo-Andrade) or that it’s not possible, but to me the time has already passed for that,” Espinoza said. “That fight peaked a while ago. It’s not nearly as exciting as Charlo versus Benavidez or Charlo versus Canelo. There are better opportunities out there.”
Espinoza also pointed out that Showtime had offered Andrade a chance to fight Charlo a few years ago just as Andrade’s contract with Matchroom/DAZN was about to end. Andrade ultimately resigned with his longtime backers. Andrade also famously pulled out a proposed matchup with Charlo’s brother, 154-pound undisputed champion Jermell Charlo, in 2014.
“He (Andrade) decided to re-sign with DAZN,” Espinoza said. “He even after the fact made the comment, his comment was if DAZN is gonna keep paying me millions of dollars to fight guys like Luke Keeler, then I’m gonna resign. That says everything you want to know. That’s fine. If that’s the way you want to go, there’s lots of ways to carry out a career. If that was his preference and he wanted to cash in on that money, that’s great.
“But then don’t say Jermall Charlo won’t fight you because it was there, and it was a healthy offer and it certainly wasn’t anything that he couldn’t have gone and fought for DAZN afterwards if he wanted to do that…there have been opportunities and they just have not come through.”