Demetrius Andrade believes his big homecoming night will be the perfect showcase to secure blockbuster fights as he defends his WBO World Middleweight title against Maciej Sulecki on Saturday June 29 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Weights: Demetrius Andrade 159.9 vs Maciej Sulecki 159.5
Khalid Yafai 114.5 vs Norbelto Jimenez 114.5
Joseph Parker 241.5 vs Alex Leapai 254.2.
Andrade (27-0 17 KOs) fights at home for the first time as a World champion in the second defense of the 160lb crown he landed in Boston in October against Walter Kautondokwa and then stopped Artur Akavov in New York in January in his first defense.
The two-weight World ruler now gets the chance to thrill his hometown fans against Sulecki (28-1 11 KOs), the Pole that landed the clash coming out on top of a rollercoaster clash with Gabriel Rosado in March – and believes that a stand-out performance as a hometown headliner will see him land the fights that he craves with Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin.
“Fighting at home is really exciting,” said Andrade. “In a way it’s more exciting for the fans in Providence as I’ve fought all over the world already. So, to give my hometown the chance to watch me display my skills, talent, work ethic is going to be great for them – they’re going to see greatness from one of their own. I’ve got two full passports from travelling the world and it’s a privilege to do that, to see the world and learn and gain experience, so to come home for such a big fight is great.
“I’m an Olympian and a two-weight World champion, but that’s not enough because there’s a lot of people that haven’t seen my talent displayed in the mainstream like some other fighters, like Canelo Alvarez, as Golden Boy did a great job moving him and GGG had great promotion too, but they’re not the greatest talents out there, they are just the most popular. It’s called prize fighting and I am looking to capitalize on that, with the capital.
“I’ve got air in me now. Should I have been the guy like Canelo with the machine behind him? Yeah, I could’ve been that, but it didn’t fall that way for me, but now I’m here. I kept my focus in mind, body and soul and continued to grind, because anyone else, this boxing game is hard and people give up, especially when there’s no money coming in as you have to pay the bills.
“I’ve been through the politics of boing and found my way out of it, just like I’ve found my way to win in every fight. Being who I am and having the team around me has got me to the point where I’m headlining the Dunk as an undefeated World champion.
“Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA have realized the talent and the character that I am, and DAZN are doing a great job too, giving the different characters in the sport the exposure so that people can tune in outside the people we already know. Through the obstacles I’ve been through, they tried to sweep me under the rug, I got back up, wiped off the dirt and it’s me again.
“To be the first Cape Verdean as an undisputed champion would be history and the same for New England, we’ve only really had Vinny Paz and that was 30 years ago. I’m continuing to catapult myself to be the best I can and set the bar high for others.”
Sulecki: ‘Andrade has never fought anyone like me’
Maciej Sulecki has branded Demetrius Andrade as one of the ‘weakest Middleweights’ as he plots to rip the WBO World title from him at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday June 29, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Sulecki (28-1 11 KOs) travels to the champion’s backyard for his first World title challenge as Andrade (27-0 17 KOs) puts his strap on the line for the second time.
The Pole landed the clash having seen off Gabriel Rosado in a wild clash for the WBO International title in Philadelphia in March, where he floored Rosado in the first and eighth rounds but then hit the canvas twice in the ninth before winning on points after ten.
Sulecki, who previously went the distance with former two-time World ruler Daniel Jacobs, showed he has grit as well as talent in that battle with Rosado, and the 30 year old believes that he’s the first real fighter that Andrade has faced and that the champion is in for a shock next weekend.
Maciej Sulecki: Jacobs is a better fighter than Andrade
“I am very happy I got this fight,” said Sulecki. “Daniel Jacobs was much better than Andrade – Andrade’s one of the weakest Middleweights out there in my eyes. I know for sure that I’m going to put on a great fight and show it off. I know he’s a great fighter but he hasn’t fought anybody. He’s fought Jack Culcay who is no one, and I will show the world who I am and what I can do inside that ring.
Sulecki comments on Rosado fight
“The Rosado fight was going to plan until the 8th round, after that things changed. It was a good learning experience and now especially since I’m fighting the champion next. I watched the fight at home and I said to myself ‘What an idiot. What did I do?’ It was a very good lesson, it was two rounds that made me a better man.”
“I believe the fans will come out for this fight. I remember people like Adamek, who had a great following behind them. That’s what I want too, I want that good feeling.
Sulecki ready to take the fight to Andrade
“It’s only talk in the press conferences and on social media, on fight night, the fists will do the talking. Talk is cheap. He’s World champion and he’s very good so he’s confident, but I am very confident too and I hope he’s ready for what I am bringing to the ring as he’s never fought anyone like me.”
Kal Yafai defends against Norbelto Jimenez
Sulecki’s clash with Andrade is part of a blockbuster night of action as unbeaten Briton Kal Yafai puts his WBA Super-Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Norbelto Jimenez and former Heavyweight king Joseph Parker takes on Australian former World title challenger Alex Leapai.
Boston’s Mark DeLuca faces Canadian Brandon Brewer over ten rounds at Super-Welterweight, young talents Alexis Espino and Raymond Ford taste their third action in the paid ranks, local favorite Anthony Marsella faces Jose Aubel, with another unbeaten Providence fighter Anthony Concepcion also featuring.