Through Jack Tiernan: Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade will leave his WBO 160-lb title and move to 168 to compete against #1 Zach Parker to try to become the mandatory nominee for super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reports that Andrade will leave his WBO 160-lb title to fight the undefeated Parker (22-0, 17 KOs) for the mandatory position.
The only reason the WBO isn’t installing Demetrius as the immediate requirement for Canelo’s 168-pound title with their organization is that Zach Parker, 27, has been waiting for the No. 1 spot for a while and they don’t want him to jump with a jump without give him a chance to keep his position.
This is no gimme for Demetrius, as Parker has a lot of talent and can punch. This battle could be the toughest for Andrade in many years since his grueling war with Jack Culcay in 2017.
Zhanibek fights for vacant WBO title
A scholarship bid was scheduled this week for Andrade’s defense against his WBO-mandatory Zhanibek Alimkhanuly at 160. That’s a fight that wouldn’t have brought Andrade much money, and it would be an uphill battle given 2016 Olympian Zhanibek ( 11-0, 7 KO’s) has a lot of power, and he’s tough.
With Andrade relinquishing his 160lb WBO title, Zhanibek will fight the next highest available contender in the World Boxing Organization rankings.
“Andrade, a two-division world champion, was faced with a scholarship offer this week for a mandatory defense against Janibek Alimkhanuly. Alimkhanuly’s team will be pursuing a vacant title. A possible opponent: Chris Eubank Jr., who will face Liam Williams on February 5,” said Mannix.
The question is whether the Chris Eubank Jr. will choose to take on Janibek for the vacant WBO 160lb title, but we’ll see. If the WBO Janibek vs. Eubank Jr, you can be sure that the fight will take place. Eubank Jr. is not the type of fighter who stands up to anyone.
This is a move by 33-year-old Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) who was initiated to force WBO champion Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) to finally face him or vacate his title in what would be seen as a case of him ducking openly.
Many boxing fans already believe that Canelo has been openly avoiding Andrade for a decade now since 2012, but that’s something beyond the casuals. But if Andrade becomes Canelo’s mandatary at age 168, he’ll have to fight that fight if he doesn’t want to be seen as scared of the 2008 American Olympian.
Canelo gave Andrade the shoe at his post-fight press conference last May, when he proclaimed it after his win over British fighter Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez was less than polite to Demetrius by kicking him out of his post-fight press conference and telling him: “Get out of here.” Canelo added that Andrade has a “terrible fighter,” despite being an undefeated former two-division world champion and 2008 Olympian.
“Demetrius Andrade plans to cancel his £160 title and increase it to 168, sources told @SInow. Andrade’s team is working on a deal to face Zach Parker, with the winner being the mandatory nominee. for the super middleweight title in the hands of Canelo Alvarez,” said Chris Mannix.
It’s a shame Andrade has to fight to become Canelo’s mandatary at age 168 just to try and force him to give him a chance. I mean, this is a fight that a lot of boxing fans would love to watch, and Canelo should be aware of that.
That he chooses to fight the little-known opposition like Ilunga Makabu instead of Demetrius furthers the argument that he is avoiding the Rhode Island native Providence.