Librado Andrade To Return Against Veteran Eric Lucas In May

by James Slater - Mexican warrior Librado Andrade, last seen being stopped for the first time in his eleven-year pro career by a wicked Lucian Bute body shot, is set to return to action on May 28th, six months to the day from his rematch loss to the reigning IBF 168-pound ruler. The 31-year-old former three-time world title challenger will face 38-year-old veteran and former WBC super-middleweight champion Eric Lucas. The fight, scheduled for 12-rounds at 168-pounds, will take place in Quebec, Canada on May 28th..

Andrade, 28-3(21) will likely start as a fairly big favourite over Canadian hero Lucas, 39-7-3(15). Having had just one fight since his January 2006 10th-round TKO loss to then WBA super-middle champ Mikkel Kessler - a 4th-round KO win over the little-known Ramon Pedro Moyano, up at light-heavyweight in December of last year - it isn't overly clear how much Lucas has left.

A fine fighter in his day, the man from Montreal managed wins over good fighters, Segundo Mercado, Glenn Catley, Vinny Pazienza and Omar Sheika. Also during his peak years, Lucas made three retentions of his WBC crown. Having also been in with great Roy Jones Junior (an 11th-round corner retirement back in 1996), Lucas has as much experience as could be imagined. But can he still cut it at the highest level in 2010?

Andrade's confidence surely took a pretty big hit when he was stopped for the first time by Bute ("La Tombeur", by the way, being a stable mate of Lucas), and it will be interesting to see how he comes out in May. The 6'2" Mexican who now trains in Canada under Howard Grant may well look to come out firing against the older man, anxious to get himself a confidence-restoring stoppage win; or, alternatively, he could appear a little gunshy because of what Bute did to him in November.

Losing to the superb southpaw is no disgrace at all, however, and it wasn't Andrade's solid jaw that let him down in the 4-round loss. Sure, he went down from a head shot prior to the body shot finish, but Andrade got up from that knockdown with a smile on his face. The shot to the midsection that finished him was an excellent shot, and most probably would have done the same thing to a number of world class fighters. Though Lucas will no doubt take encouragement from the result the boxer from his homeland scored, there is nothing to suggest he will also stop Andrade.

Lucas, it must not be forgotten, is a fighter with a lot of wear and tear on his body, and he is also a warrior who has been a pro since way back in 1991. It sure would be some comeback to the world ranks if Lucas were to upset and severely set back Andrade, but I don't think it will happen. Often a slow starter, Andrade could be outboxed for a few rounds, before his youthful aggression, physical strength and desire to put the Bute loss in the past allows him to take over.

I go for Andrade to get a late-rounds stoppage - in so doing becoming the fifth man to stop Lucas - in around the 9th or 10th round.

Article posted on 16.03.2010

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