Demetrius Andrade has decided to move up to 168 to become the mandatory challenger to Canelo Alvarez with the WBO. Part of that decision involves Andrade (31-0, 18 KOs) vacating his WBO 160-lb title before moving up to 168 to face #1 contender with the World Boxing Organization Zach Parker (22-0, 17 KOs) in a title eliminator to determine Canelo’s mandatory.
Obviously, Canelo will likely squirm out of defending his WBO 168-lb title against the talented former two-division world champion southpaw Andrade, but that’ll be his decision.
Andrade, 33, has been languishing at 160 since moving up to that weight class in 2017.
Although he captured the WBO middleweight title in 2018, he’s been unable to get the bigger names to fight him. Billy Joe Saunders wanted no part of fighting Andrade and neither did any of these fighters:
- Jaime Munguia
- Gennady Golovkin
- Jermall Charlo
The straw that broke the camel’s back for Demetrius is that after defending against his WBO mandatory last April against Liam Williams, the sanctioning body recently ordered him to defend against another mandatory in Zhanibek Alimkhanuly.
That would have been a low-money fight that wouldn’t have been easy work for Andrade. The two had a purse bid this week, but Demetrius has no intention of taking that fight.
As a result, Andrade will vacate his WBO 160-lb title and Alimkhanuly will likely face Esquiva Falcao for the vacant WBO title.
“Demetrius Andrade intends to vacate his 160-pound title and move up to 168, sources told @SInow. Andrade’s team is working on completing a deal to face Zach Parker, with the winner to become the mandatory for the [WBO] super middleweight title held by Canelo Alvarez,” said Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix.
It should be interesting to see if Canelo Alvarez vacates his WBO 168-lb title if Demetrius successfully defeats Zach parker to become the mandatory for the Mexican star.
It would be a miracle if Canelo suddenly started showing interest in fighting Andrade because it’s a bad match-up for him. Canelo does poorly against fighters that move and box the Andrade can, and he’s not going to want to take that fight and lose.
It’s too bad that it’s come to this for Andrade because he likely would have stayed at 160 if he could have gotten the big names to fight him.
“Andrade, a two-division world champion, faced a purse bid this week for a mandatory defense against Janibek Alimkhanuly. Alimkhanuly’s team will pursue a vacant title. A possible opponent: Chris Eubank Jr., who will face Liam Williams on February 5th,” said Mannix.
Andrade is coming off an impressive second round knockout win over Jason Quigley on November 19th. That was a fine performance by Andrade in knocking out a normally tough opponent. If Andrade can do that against Zach Parker, he’ll force Canelo to fight him or vacate.