Zach Parker is normally a man of few words.
The unbeaten super middleweight now has plenty to say after being left with even fewer fights thanks to Demetrius Andrade’s latest career move.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Andrade walked away from a planned interim WBO super middleweight for a second time this year. An injury forced the 34-year-old American southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island to withdraw from their scheduled May 21 clash in Parker’s hometown of Derby, England. General dissatisfaction over the purse bid results of their re-ordered interim title fight prompted Andrade to have his team contact the WBO to inform of his decision to move in a different direction.
Parker is prepared to move on this time around, though not without a few parting shots.
“I never bad mouth any fighter. I very rarely speak but this is not right,” Parker told BoxingScene.com. “I feel my career has been badly stalled. I’m very lucky to have Frank Warren, (manager) Neil Marsh and Black Country Boxing (BCB) behind me because I’m ready to go. This won’t prevent me from getting where I’m going.
“Demetrius Andrade knew he would get knocked clean out and he was the perfect fight for progress to become world champion. I look forward to fighting in November and delivering a big performance for all my fans and team.”
Derby’s Parker (22-0, 16KOs) remains the top-rated contender in the WBO super middleweight rankings, with the main belt held by undisputed champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (58-2-2, 39KOs). He advanced to that spot following a March 2020 eleventh-round stoppage win over Rohan Murdock, having since added three more victories—all inside the distance to extend his current five-fight knockout streak.
Andrade (31-0, 19KOs) first looked Parker’s way late last year, eyeing an interim title fight in lieu of a mandatory title defense against Kazakhstan’s Janibek Alimkhanuly which was ordered last November 30. The fight was due to go to a purse bid hearing which was delayed several times before being canceled outright when the WBO approved a follow-up request by Andrade to instead face Parker at super middleweight.
Their fight went to a purse bid hearing, won by Warren’s Queensberry Promotions with a bid of $1,834,050 to outpace Matchroom Boxing, Andrade’s promoter at the time who bid $1,750,000. Andrade was due 65-percent of the winning bid—$1,192,132.50—to travel abroad, but never made the trip or collected the check. A shoulder injury forced his withdrawal in early May and kept him out of the ring all summer—and for the entire year, dating back to last November 19 in the final defense of his WBO middleweight title.
Once deemed healthy, Andrade was instructed to again negotiate with Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8KOs), the interim WBO middleweight title by that time following a second-round knockout of Danny Dignum on May 21 in Las Vegas. Talks once again went nowhere, nor did plans for a purse bid when Andrade waited until the last minute to instead vacate his title. Alimkhanuly was elevated to full titlist, while Andrade-Parker was back in play.
Or so Parker thought.
Queensberry Promotions once again claimed rights to the fight, this time for the low price of $305,000 as the only bidder. Andrade was due sixty percent—$183,000—to travel to Parker’s home country for a fight planned for November 5. The two sides had five days to return signed contracts to the WBO to move forward with the fight, which ended with Andrade moving on to the next chapter of his career and Parker left to move onto the next plan once the WBO is ready to order his next challenger for the still-approved interim title fight.
“I feel badly messed about and am disgusted by his behavior,” stated Parker. “This is a pattern, with what happened with Janibek at middleweight, then coming to [super middleweight] and causing havoc. He entered a purse bid which my Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren won with what was a huge bid for the fight, then pulled out with an injury. He wasted time, effort and money spent by all of us in the UK to make a huge event in my beloved Derby County Football club. It meant losing out on my dream.
"Demetrius Andrade then went back to middleweight and messed about there, dropping his belt at the eleventh hour and coming back, entering another purse bid for our fight. Once again, Frank Warren won, though a much smaller bid because of Frank’s experience knowing there would be no other bidders. I’ve spent good money on sparring and training camps and for what—to watch Demetrius Andrade pull out again because I feel he isn’t happy with his purse.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox