Demetrius ‘Boo’ Boo’ Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) says he’s not going to vacate his WBO middleweight title just to get the fight against WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in February. Andrade, 32, isn’t sure why it would matter to Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) if he still holds his WBO 160-lb title.
Andrade says it’s the World Boxing Organization that they need to talk to about whether he can move up to take on Saunders for his WBO 168lb title without the need to vacate. Demetrius isn’t going to go by what Saunders is telling him because he could end up vacating his WBO, and then still not getting the fight.
If Saunders isn’t using Andrade as a way of forcing Canelo Alvarez to make a quick decision to select him for May, he should negotiate the fight with Andrade.
The chances are high that Saunders will get selected by WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) for his fight in May. If Saunders wants to take on Andrade to stay busy in February and not just sit around as he mentioned, he’s welcome to begin negotiating with the American.
Saunders must decide
“I’ve been speaking about making this fight happen for years now, and it’s about that time,” said Andrade to iFL TV about a fight between him and Billy Joe Saunders.
“Putting pressure on whoever is needed to make this fight happen. Boxing needs it, we need it, and the middleweight division needs it.
“I’m not going to do something because Billy Joe says to do it. ‘Oh, vacate and move up to 168.’ No, I shouldn’t have to do any of that.
“All we should have to do is go up to the WBO, and the WBO puts me up there. That’s it, we fight. If he agrees to make that fight happen, that’s it.
“I don’t need to vacate. I don’t know why he’s saying that. I don’t trust Billy Joe. I go vacate, that doesn’t mean I need to fight Billy Joe right away.
“If he wants to make the fight happen, let’s make the fight happen. I don’t know why he’s talking this vacate s***. Of course, what do you think?” said Andrade when asked if he doesn’t vacate his WBO 160-lb, would he move up to 168 to face Saunders.
“That, of course, is okay. What do you mean? I’m going to go up to 168 to fight him. Yeah, he’s not going to come down to 160. I always said I was going to come up to 168 to fight him,” Demetrius said.
Andrade is 100% correct about him NOT needing to vacate his WBO middleweight title for him to take on Saunders for his WBO belt.
It’s unclear what kind of game Saunders is playing by telling Andrade that he needs to vacate his belt, but it’s possible that he’s using his name as a way to put Canelo under pressure to select him for his May fight.
With the money that Saunders will make fighting Canelo, there’s no chance he’ll want to risk that by taking on Andrade in February. It’s not just the high risk of Billy Joe losing, but also the potential of injury.
Yeah, Canelo is fighting in February, but he’s got an incredibly soft touch in Avni Yildirim, a fighter that hasn’t fought in two years and is coming off a defeat to Anthony Dirrell. The Canelo vs. Yildirim match is going to be an embarrassing cakewalk for Canelo, and it’s surprising DAZN even agreed to show that fight.
Andrade won’t vacate
“I don’t know why he keeps saying ‘vacate the belt.’ I don’t know why that’s an issue,” said Demetrius. “That’s not the issue. If the WBO allows me to go up without vacating, then I’m going to go fight him.
“That’s all good. If that’s how he feels, then sign and let’s make this s*** happen and come with your A-game,” said Andrade when told that Billy Joe has been saying that he’s going to give him a “hiding” in February.
“I don’t know who the last person he knocked out, but anyway, I hope he feels that confident.
“Let’s make the fight happen. If he can beat me and knock me out cold, then what are we waiting for?
“When I get in there and show the world what I’m made out of, everybody is going to see what I’m made out of.
“The world is going to see what I’m made out of and what type of fight I’m going to put on him to get the knockout. But if he feels he can do it, talk is talk,” said Andrade.
Demetrius shouldn’t vacate because it’s very likely he won’t get the fight against Saunders, and he’d end up without his belt and he’d have nothing to show for it. If Andrade was a superstar fighter, it wouldn’t be a big deal if he vacated his title because he could make money fighting anyone, but he’s not.
He needs his WBO title to recognized by casual boxing fans, and to be viewed as an elite-level fighter. It’s the only tool that Andrade has to lure the more popular fighters in the middleweight division to face him.
Demetrius tells Billy Joe to sign contract
“I’m ready to walk the walk. Sign it, let’s put something together, let’s sign and make this fight happen. That’s it.
The longer it takes, the longer it has to drag out,” said Demetrius when asked if he believes the fight with Billy Joe can take place in February like he’s been talking about lately.
He’s got to get prepared, I got to get prepared. We’re both not going to go into the gym and train our a** off for no fight. Let’s really make this deal happen.
I haven’t heard too much yet, but it could be getting closer. I’m trying to get on the phone with him, trying to get on the phone with DAZN and Matchroom.
We all need to get on the phone, have a conversation, and be professional, and get the job done.
Get the fight together, and do what we need to go to show the world that we got two fighters, personalities as well, great boxing styles and skills, and let’s just see who can adjust and make the fight worthwhile,” said Demetrius.
It would be very surprising if Saunders agrees to fight Andrade next because there’s much for him to lose. Andrade would likely be the favorite against Saunders, and he might even knock him out. Saunders hasn’t fought anyone good since his narrow victory over Andy Lee in 2015, and he barely won that fight.
Even if there wasn’t a possibility for Saunders to fight Canelo, he still likely wouldn’t face Andrade because he’s got a good thing going as the WBO 168lb champion.
He’s fought mostly mediocre contenders since he won the belt six years ago, and the title is the only thing he has to try and lure Canelo to fight him eventually. Without that title, Saunders would have zero chance of getting a fight against Alvarez.
Andrade hoping Saunders isn’t blowing smoke
“Throughout the years, ‘I’d say, What’s up? When are we going to make this happen?’ It was just little chitty-chat,” said Andrade in what he’s said to Saunders on social media in talking about fighting him.
“Let’s do it, let’s get it done. Let’s put pressure on the promoter and DAZN and whoever else so they can help make the fight happen because he wants it, and I want it.
“It’s best for our career. Win, lose or draw, it’s best for the sport of boxing and for the middleweight division.
“When I say, ‘middleweight division,’ I mean from junior middleweight to super middleweight, the whole middleweight division.
“I hope it does too, and I hope he’s not blowing smoke, and over there trying to blow smoke., he’s saying about the Canelo s***.
“If you really don’t want to wait for Canelo, let’s get on the phone. Eddie Hearns, Matchroom, whatever, let’s get on the phone and try to make it happen.
“Don’t try and blow smoke for the whole Canelo deal situation. Let’s make this fight happen.
“If you really want to make this happen, let’s make it happen. That’s my thing to him, let’s go. Get on the phone. You’ve got my number, I’ve got yours.
“I’ve tried to call him a couple of times because of the time difference, is tough. Let’s schedule a conference call with everybody, that’s it. You’re going to make money, I’m going to make money.
“We’re going to bring a great fight to DAZN and Matchroom. It’s what people want, people want to see it. You want to have that legacy that people can say. That’s the fight that people want to see,” said Andrade.
If the negotiations haven’t already started for a fight between Saunders and Andrade, that’s all you need to know about Billy Joe’s intent or lack thereof in fighting him. You have to assume that if Saunders was serious about wanting to fight Andrade, he would have already told his promoter Eddie Hearn to start the negotiations.
After all, Saunders says he wants to fight in February. If he’s serious about it, he would have had to have started negotiations by now.