Demetrius Andrade says he’s willing to go up to 168 to challenge Billy Joe Saunders for his WBO super middleweight title if he’s game. Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) previously attempted to fight Saunders, 30, on two occasions, but it failed to happen.
Demetrius, 32, has doubts about whether Saunders really wants the fight. Saunders turned down a clash against Canelo Alvarez for September because he needed more time to train. Andrade feels that if Saunders wasn’t willing to face Canelo in September, then why would he face him? It would be the same situation. Saunders needs more time to take off all the weight he’s packed on during the lockdown.
Saunders moved up in weight to super middleweight in 2019 when he had the chance to fight Andrade. Billy Joe had outgrown the 160lb division, and he felt it was best for him to go up in weight.
Saunders fight has been elusive for Andrade
“It’s not me saying no to anybody. It’s the other side,” said Demetrius Andrade to DAZN. “I have no problem getting in there any of the popular names in there. That’s not a problem for me. I’m willing to put my talent up against the best. Whatever happens, happens.
“I’m willing to do that. I haven’t heard anything. Maybe I’m not fighting until next year with everything that’s going on. I know boxing is going on right now, but it’s not big-name boxing. It’s a difficult situation.
“You said he’s ‘ready, willing and able’ to fight me all of a sudden?” asked Andrade when told that Billy Joe Saunders wants to fight him. “His excuse for not fighting Canelo, but now he’s ready to fight Demetrius Andrade.
“You’re not ready to fight Canelo in September, but you’re prepared to fight Demetrius Andrade in September. Is that what I’m hearing? Let’s tango; I don’t care. I’ll fight Billy Joe. I tried to fight him twice. What happened? He went up in weight. And after I fought somebody, I mentioned fighting Billy Joe afterward, and still nothing.
“So if he really wants to do it, then let’s stop playing games and do it. I came off 13 or 14 months layoff, and my first fight is back is to fight Billy Joe? So that’s all I can really say. I stepped up to the plate to fight him with 14 months off when he was the WBO world champion.
“So if he really wants to do it, they already know what’s up. I would not mind being a three-time world division champion,” said Andrade when asked if he’d be willing to go up to 168 to challenge Saunders for his WBO super middleweight belt.
To a lot of boxing fans, they think Saunders is running scared of Andrade, and he’s never going to fight him. Actions speak louder than words. If Saunders wants the fight with Demetrius, he can make it happen.
They are both with the same promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, which should make it an easy match to put together.
Demetrius willing to move to 168 for Saunders fight
“I have no problem moving up to 168 to fight Billy Joe because I don’t think he can make the weight , and I don’t know if he has the right supplements to do it,” said Andrade.
“I’m in the sport to have my own glory, and it’s also prize-fighting. More than anything, I’d love to move up to 168 to become a three-time division world champion. I have no problem doing that. Also, it would be nice to have a goal in the sense like Bernard Hopkins.
“How many times did he defend his world title? It doesn’t matter if it’s one weight class or three different weight classes if I’m undefeated and still defending a belt, that’s still, to me, something legendary.
“I don’t want to get in there with someone doing drugs,” said Demetrius. “It’s not fair. I’m not saying I can’t beat somebody that’s on it. Okay, this guy is getting stronger in each and every round, and his wind isn’t going nowhere, and he’s not showing exertion.
“A clean fighter relies on, ‘I’m going to wear him down, and I’m going to break his will.’ But if you have all this stuff in you, how am I going to be able to do that when you’re taking all that stuff that will never get you to that point? How can I get that 12th round that I do all the time where I’m looking to break them down, boom, 12 round knockout?
“You’ll never see those big a** veins coming out of my body. I’ve been training since I was six-years-old, and I’ve been fighting professionally for 10, 11, or 12 years. I’ve been looking at some of these fighters like how did they look more diesel than me? I’ve been working out my whole life.
“What am I doing wrong? I’m ready to tango with whatever I can get in to do my thing because I’ve got the confidence to beat them all. Everybody has got a puncher’s chance, but I’m willing to get in there and make it happen,” said Andrade.
If Andrade can’t get the fight with Saunders, then he can always force the issue by becoming his mandatory challenger.
With Andrade’s WBO title that he holds at 160, he can tell the World Boxing Organization that he wants to move up to 168, and they’ll make him the mandatory for Saunders. However, that still doesn’t mean Saunders will elect to fight him. He could vacate his WBO title and go in another direction rather than take the risky match against him.
Also, Saunders wants to fight Callum Smith, the WBA super middleweight champion. If Saunders takes that fight in 2020, he’ll probably lose. In that case, he won’t be worth fighting. Andrade would be better off going after Callum, who might not be as elusive. They both share the same promoter in Hearn.
Andrade wants Joshua, Canelo, and GGG to take pay-cuts
“Maybe stop paying Anthony Joshua all that money, maybe stop paying Canelo all that money, and maybe stop paying GGG all that money, and then everyone else will be happy with what they get,” said Demetrius.
“Why do fighters have to take a pay-cut when they’re putting their life on the line? If you’re making $500 million, and you’re taking a pay-cut off that. You’re making $200 million or $100 million.
“You’re still going to be happy. But if a fighter is making $5 million a year and it turns into $2 million and it turns to $1 million a year to get punched in the face with black eyes and concussions, and all the training. Nah, bro.
“I don’t blame Terence Crawford for saying, ‘I want my money. This is what I fight for, and this is what I’ve fought for my entire life.’ I don’t know if it’s a dramatic cut or not. I don’t know his business.
“On my side and what I know is if you’re going to pay-cut, then take away the GGG money, take away the Canelo money, and take away the Anthony Joshua money. Those are the pay that needs to be cut down.
“They [DAZN] should have never given him that much money in the first place,” said Andrade about Canelo. “The way they spread it among the names I just mentioned. The people that are coming up have got to take more of a pay-cut. Cut their pay.
“There’s enough there. The people that are paid the most, that’s where the biggest pay-cuts should be coming from. I know my worth. I want to be paid for someone trying to take my head off,” said Andrade.
Canelo Alvarez will reportedly be taking a pay-cut for his next fight in September. Without the gate, Canelo will lose out on a portion of the expected $8 million gate money. However, Alvarez won’t be taking a pay-cut from the huge $25 million that he receives from DAZN for his fights. That will still be there.
Andrade isn’t in the same stratosphere as Canelo, Anthony Joshua, and Gennadiy Golovkin. Those guys have contracts that guarantee them big money.
Andrade on why he’s avoided by top fighters
“It goes down to show that it’s a business,” said Andrade in why he hasn’t had a signature fight during his career. They don’t want to ruin their business by fighting Demetrius Andrade. Anthony Joshua is making all that money, Canelo Alvarez is making all that money, and GGG is making all that money.
“How come they haven’t fought Demetrius Andrade yet in making all that money. Why hasn’t GGG stated? I went into the ring and said, ‘Are we going to make this happen or what?’ Canelo, back in the day, I used to call him a b****, because that’s how he’s acting now.
“You got the Charlo brothers he mentioned and Demetrius Andrade he mentioned. He fought Danny Jacobs, and that was good. Now he’s looking to fight Derevyanchenko. That’s alright. Derevyanchenko is cool. Why are you going with Derevyanchenko? What about Demetrius Andrade?
“How about you go, David Benavidez, or how about Billy Joe Saunders? Now that fights off for; I don’t know why. I want the same thing you want, and everybody else wants.
“It’s clear that every time you mention Canelo or Charlo or GGG, my name is off the mix. I’m always the one to say, ‘We can make it happen.’ If there was a pay-cut, I bet Charlo would have taken that fight a long time ago if you knew this s*** was happening for $7 million cause I would.
“I’m willing and able. Canelo, Charlo, or whoever. You can’t fly over there, and they can’t fly over here. Now we’ve got to figure it out. Is Canelo around here?
“Where’s Charlo? Is he around here? Who’s around here that’s willing to do it? And if you say ‘pay-cut,’ who is willing to do it for a pay-cut? That’s a lot of money [$7 million], and you can make a lot of money with that amount of money,” said Andrade.
Demetrius is being avoided by the top guys at 160 and 168 because he’s more trouble than he’s worth. If Andrade were highly popular, then that would be a different story.