The search for a career defining fight will go on for Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade after he stopped Irish challenger Jason Quiqley in ruthless fashion to defend the WBO world middleweight title last night in New Hampshire.
This was the first step up to world title level for one-time hot prospect Quigley, but New England native Andrade gave out a one sided beating before calling for bigger name opposition after the fight.
IN THE BLUE CORNER – DEMETRIUS ANDRADE
Defending champion Andrade has a more than impressive resume, a USA national champion, Golden Gloves winner and Olympian as an amateur, Andrade currently sits at #3 in The Ring magazine middleweight rankings after running his career record to 30-0 (18 KO).
Having already been a two time world champion at junior middleweight, Andrade won the vacant WBO middleweight world title with a unanimous decision victory over then undefeated Walter Kautondokwa in 2018.
After higher profile opponent Billy Joe Saunders failed a drug test, Namibian Kautondokwa stepped in but was knocked down four times as Andrade won the fight by a wide margin on the scorecards.
Four straight successful defenses of the title followed for Boo Boo, including stoppage wins over Artus Akavov and Luke Keeler. Maciel Sulecki was beaten by unanimous decision (120-107 according to all three judges) and last time out Liam Williams went down in another fight won by a large margin on the scorecards.
None of the above opposition are the kind of career defining opposition that Andrade craves, and he entered this fight hoping a spectacular knockout of Quigley would put him in line for such a fight. The American champion made it clear at the pre-fight press conference that he did not expect another points decision, telling fans to “bet your house” on a stoppage.
IN THE RED CORNER – JASON QUIGLEY
Challenger Quigley stepped into this fight knowing he was on the verge of history and aiming to become only the fourth Irishman in history to win the world middleweight crown. Jack ‘Nonpareil’ Dempsey, Steve Collins and his trainer Andy Lee were the names he was looking to join in the annals of Irish boxing.
Trainer Lee was missing for this bout due to visa complications denying him entry to the USA and he was replaced as cornerman by another Irish former world champion in the shape of Wayne McCullough.
A decorated amateur, Quigley joined the professional ranks in glamorous fashion as he signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy stable and relocated to train in California. After making his debut with a stoppage of Howard Reece on a Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez undercard in Las Vegas, Quigley reeled off 16 straight wins including a unanimous decision victory over Glen Tapia in 2017.
The momentum came to a shuddering halt in 2019, when Quigley was on the wrong end of a one sided beating from Bahaman veteran Tureano Johnson, retiring in the ninth round. Quigley bounced back with knockout wins over Abraham Cordero and Fernando Marin, before facing Shane Mosley Jr. last time out in May.
Quigley came out with a hard fought majority decision victory over Mosley, with one judge scoring it a 95-95 draw and Quigley getting the nod 97-93 and 96-94 on the other two cards. After the fight, Quigley called out Andrade and now stood on the brink of a historic opportunity after that call was answered.
The smiling figure of Quigley made his entrance to the strains of Irish folk music, walking past a sizable visiting fan section who cheered loudly while waving a sea of Irish flags.
Andrade made his way to the ring wearing a ‘Halloween’ type hockey mask in the colors of the Cape Verde flag, underneath a black hooded robe. The ensemble was topped off with a Marvin Hagler inspired red hat with the word ‘War’ emblazoned on it.
It was a cagey opening minute of the fight, with the pair circling each other and showing feints in search of an opening. The sole punch of the opening 30 seconds of the fight was a jab to the body by Quigley. The Irish fighter started confidently and launched a flurry of punches, before Andrade landed a one-two combination on the counter.
Quigley fired off another quick sequence of three punches before circling away while Andrade continued to stalk forward behind a high guard. As the round entered the final minute, Andrade landed a punch to the liver and followed it up with a right hand to the face.
Another right hand from Andrade wobbled the legs of Quigley and the American followed up ruthlessly, backing Quigley onto the ropes before dropping him with two head shots. Quigley rose to his feet but was soon under assault again, the Irish challenger leaned forward into Andrade and was pushed down onto the canvas as referee Arthur Mercante Jr. ruled no knockdown.
The opening round ended with Quigley against the ropes leaning away from Andrade as the champion fired off punches to close out a dominant opening round.
Andrade came out for round two full of confidence and landed two left hands before a heavy right rattled the Irish challenger. The champion kept finding the target with heavy blows, while Quigley briefly interrupted the momentum by landing a stiff right hand.
The defending champion continued to feint and move before dropping Quigley for a second time with a flush left hand to the jaw. Quigley rose once more, but the fight would not last much longer as Andrade backed the challenger into the corner and landed a number of vicious punches before referee Mercante Jr. stepped in to end the contest with 26 seconds remaining in the second round.
WHAT THEY SAID
After backing up his promise of putting on a spectacular performance here and assuring no fans who followed his pre-fight gambling instructions ended up homeless, the Rhode Island fighter continued his quest to land a big name opponent.
“Every time I step into the ring it’s something different each and every time. A different style out of me, this time around I wanted to get in there and put some damage in early, that’s exactly what I did. He felt the first body shot to the liver and it was time to eat.”
Talking to DAZN, Andrade stated “I did what I said. I delivered the message and that was stop Quigley, let them know, I’m onto the next. Who’s next, what’s next?”
Andrade made it clear he was willing to fight Jaime Munguia or the victor of the upcoming Gennady Golovkin v Ryota Murata fight on December 29th. Golovkin and Murata will be clashing with the IBF and WBA world middleweight titles up for grabs.
“I’m 31-0, WBO champion, 2008 Olympian, what do I gotta keep doing? Line ‘em up,” Andrade said before having his claims backed up in the ring post-fight by promoter Eddie Hearn.
“He’s 31-0, he’s an American great and you’ve got Jermall Charlo. He’s 32-0,” Heard told DAZN. “What is going on with boxing when you’ve got two great undefeated American champions in the same division and they won’t share the ring?”
Hearn then put the blame squarely on Charlo as well as Munguia for avoiding Andrade, and expressed his desire to find the kind of fight both Andrade and the fans want to see.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE WINNER
With longtime target Alvarez moving up to cruiserweight to face Ilunga Junior Makabu, and Golovkin and Morata locked in to their upcoming duel, Charlo and Munguia are likely top targets for Andrade.
If Andrade and Charlo were to face off with the WBO and WBC titles at stake, the winner could potentially go on to face Golovkin or Murata in a huge fight with all four middleweight titles on the line.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE LOSER
This looked a step too far for Quigley, and was not a performance that will land him another world title shot anytime soon. If the Irishman wants to establish himself as a top ten fighter in the division, fights with Englishman Felix Cash or the winner of December’s Chris Eubank Jr. v Liam WIlliams showdown would be stiff tests that draw well over the Atlantic.
Author’s scorecard (round by round)
Stewart Flaherty is a freelance boxing writer who can be reached at @graniteboxing1