The stories, transcripts and the back-and-forth, he-said-she-said regarding the ongoing saga between former world champion Demetrius Andrade and Roc Nation Sports is available for public consumption with a few simple keystrokes.
Anyone who wants to follow the timeline can do so with ease. Battle lines have been drawn and fight fans have already chosen sides, basing their opinions on what has unfolded over the past 11 months since Andrade allegedly withdrew from his scheduled title defense against Jermell Charlo over a broken promise made by another promotional company.
Andrade, the undefeated, 27-year-old Providence, R.I., native who rose to fame as an Olympian in 2008 and won his first world title five years later, is impervious to the negativity.
“I don’t worry about what people say about me too much because at the end of the day I know the truth,” said Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs), who admitted he “can’t really talk too much about it” because of his ongoing lawsuit against Roc Nation.
“One thing I’ve learned in the sport of boxing, good press, bad press, it’s all good. I don’t feed into that. I always give people the truth and let my boxing skills do the rest of the talking for me.”
He’ll get his chance to let his hands tell the rest of the story Saturday, Oct. 17th, 2015 at Mohegan Sun Arena in a 10-round bout against Argentinian Dario Fabian Pucheta (20-2, 11 KOs) for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) International Titles, his first fight in 16 months. The bout headlines CES Boxing’s “Gold Standard” event, promoted in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Artie Pelullo’s Banner Promotions.
Tickets are priced at $25.00, $50.00, $125.00 and $200.00 (VIP) and available for purchase online at www.cesboxing.com or www.mohegansun.com, www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254, or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Andrade’s 16-month layoff includes the Roc Nation saga in which Andrade alleges Roc Nation promised to pay him $550,000 to turn down his scheduled WBO junior middleweight title defense against Charlo and the inevitable loss of his belt, which the WBO vacated when Andrade failed to defend it within the calendar year.
His return to the ring has been billed as his homecoming, his first fight in New England in more than three years, and perhaps the first step toward putting the past behind him and rebuilding his public image outside of Rhode Island, a notion Andrade dismisses as he maintains an all-business approach heading into the 17th.
“This fight here, this is a step for me to get back in the ring. It’s not about anything else other than me displaying my talents, so people know why I’m the best, give them a little taste as far as what my fan base is and how we pack the house,” Andrade said.
“We’re prepared to go to Showtime, go to HBO on our own if possible, and say, ‘Look, this is what we’re doing in the New England area and once we get the bigger and better fights, everything will double and triple for us.’ There’s a plan and a step for everything.”
Whatever the case may be, Andrade’s ultimate goal is to get back to the top of the 154-pound division, where he’s fallen out of the top 15 with every major sanctioning body, even the WBO, where the belt he won in 2013 remains vacant.
From there, Andrade wants to make the big money other fighters in his weight class have made for years, fighters such as Saul Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., even Austin Trout, who reportedly earned $240,000 for fighting Miguel Cotto in 2012 and flipped that into an even bigger payday in his next bout against Alvarez.
“I’m not trying to sit here and kill myself for the rest of my life to end up broke or foreclosed like a lot of other fighters,” Andrade said. “I’m trying to make smart investments and make life-changing money.”
Andrade cites Mayweather, the undisputed Pay Per View king and pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, as the perfect example, a fighter who didn’t start earning crazy money until the ages of 28 and 29.
“I’m still in a good position to make the best out of this, and that’s what I plan on doing,” he said.
“You definitely have to be patient in this game. It’s definitely a waiting game, especially if you’re in a situation where you don’t have the biggest promoter, the biggest advisor. Knowing nowadays the way the politics go, you can be the best fighter in the world — and I never really understood this before until I became a professional — but if no one knows you, that’s that.
“That’s my point of view. I’m learning how to market myself without relying on the promoters or the managers or anyone else in this sport trying to reach out, doing community events, trying to get my name out there for stuff I do, not depending on somebody else to get stuff done for me.”
As a consummate professional who stays in the gym year-round, Andrade is always ready to fight despite the layoff and insists he’s ready for whoever stands in his way at 154, whether it’s Erislandy Lara, who holds the WBA strap, or Jermall Charlo, the brother of Jermell Charlo, who won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title with a win over Cornelius Bundrage in September.
Andrade also insists he was prepared to fight Jermell earlier this year even after the original fight fell through — “I signed my contract in January to fight him in March, but he chose to go another route,” Andrade said — but is instead now focusing on the future, beginning with his all-important homecoming Oct. 17th against Pucheta, the first step on the road back to the top.
“I’m ready for whatever comes my way,” Andrade said. “This is what I’ve been doing since I was 6 years old. This is not a game to me. People get hurt in the ring. People have died in the ring. I’m not going to be one of these fighters who just prepares to get ready and brace myself one month, two months and prepare for a fight.
“I’m going to stay mentally and physically sharp year-round so when that time does come I don’t have to get ready. I’m already ready. I’m ready for the big fights. I’ve been ready for the big fights for a long time now. It’s business. Not everybody, unfortunately, like myself, is in the position where they can piggyback off of a Mayweather or a [Manny] Pacquiao or one of the top guys. I’ve pretty much had to do it myself. It takes time. That’s my obstacle, and that’s something I’m going to have to deal with, but I’m not going to sit here and cry about it.”
“Gold Standard” also includes the return of world-rated lightweight “Hammerin'” Hank Lundy (25-5-1, 12 KOs), No. 15 in the WBC, fighting for the WBC’s vacant Continental Americas Title at 135 pounds. Undefeated Worcester, Mass., junior middleweight and reigning Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) Northeast champion Khiary Gray (9-0, 7 KOs) faces Marcus Dawkins (4-1, 1 KO) of Denver and super middleweight Vladine Biosse (15-7-2, 7 KOs) returns in a six-round bout against Nathan Miller (6-0-1, 4 KOs) of New Brunswick, Canada.
Also featured on the undercard, New Haven, Conn., featherweight Josh Crespo (4-2-3, 2 KOs) battles Albany, N.Y., vet Rigoberto Miranda in a four-round bout; cruiserweight Mike Marshall (1-0, 1 KO) of the Bronx faces newcomer Hampton Miller of New Haven in a four-rounder and featherweights Carlos Pena of Worcester and Phil Dudley of Providence make their professional debuts against one another in a four-round bout.