Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (18-0-0, 13KOs) is heading back to action, headlining the event of ShoBox: The New Generation, Friday, January 25, 2013 at The Paramount in Huntington, New York. Andrade is ranked #3 by the IBF, #3 by the WBO, and #7 by the WBC. The 24-year-old southpaw Andrade is an amateur sensation, who is heavily touted by his handlers Joe Deguardia of Star Boxing Promotions and match-maker for the said company Ron Katz. In Katz’ eyes and in an interview done on him by ThaBoxingVoice.com, Katz says Andrade has been turn down by many of the top names in the 154 lb. division. Based on my respect for Deguardia and Katz, I will believe them and give Andrade a pass on his past level of opposition.
On January 25, 2013 Andrade has the opportunity to change the fans perception of him being a protected or coddled fighter by facing Freddy “EL Riel” Hernandez (30-3-0, 20 KOs), of Mexico City for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Title. Now in no way am I suggesting that Hernandez is a world beater but he is a great litmus test to see where Andrade is, Hernandez can be used as a barometer. His three loses are to world class fighters, Erislandy Lara who he made a good account of himself moving up to face Lara at his natural weight of 154 lbs.
While he didn’t get the win, he succeeded in not allowing Lara to look spectacular as his handlers would’ve hoped. Andre Berto dusted Hernandez off in one round at 147 lbs but can you truly read too much into that after watching Berto fight with both eyes closed, and picking himself off the canvas twice to make a possible fight of the year candidate with Robert Guerrero on November 24, 2013. Berto showed power, grit, and most importantly, heart.
Now Golden Johnson may not be world class and I have no twist I can add to my words to sell him except that he’s a tough veteran. Let’s not forget that Hernandez holds a win prior to his lost to Lara over Luis Collazo, a former world champion and a guy many had beating Berto when these two met in the squared circle back in 2009.
Andrade has been a longtime ESPN Friday Night Fight’s fighter. In this fight he’s graduating to Showtime’s introductory boxing program, a series based on introducing their viewership to “The New Generation” of boxing’s possible stars. The fight is ShoBox worthy and it’s good to see Hernandez get his call back to the series after taking on a fighter in Lara that many aren’t/weren’t lining up to fight.
However I won’t allow you, the reader or the boxing fan-casual or hard-core, to be fooled. This is a showcase fight and anything less than a win for Demetrius Andrade is bad for business. He must look both spectacular and live up to the hype.
What hype you ask who is this kid? I’ll tell you. He was considered the cream of the 2008 United States Olympic Team advancing to the quarterfinal round. He also won the Gold Medal in the 2007 World Championships, the first American do so since 1999. In a press release issued by Star Boxing Promotions they had this to say, “Andrade has been favorably compared to a younger, heavier, left-handed Mayweather due to their similar boxing styles, featuring lightning-quick feet and hands, incredible defensive reflexes and strings of dominant victories.”
Andrade has taken it upon himself to relocate to California, to seek what all fighters seek when they step in to the ring and lace up those gloves; fame, glory, riches, and legacy. He’s hoping that by teaming up with world renowned trainer of the year Virgil Hunter, his dreams can become reality. Hunter is quickly becoming this year’s version of Freddie Roach or Robert Garcia taking on new talents into his stable. With the additions of Amir “King” Khan, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, and now Demetrius Andrade, Hunter has become the new hot trainer, the go to guy so to speak for fighters, looking to get an edge. Mix that in the world class sparring that must take place in this gym with fighters like Mike Dallas Jr., Karim Mayfield, Brandon Gonzalez, Alfredo Angulo, Amir Khan, Demetrius Andrade, and of course the Olympic gold medalist and Unified Champion Andre Ward.
The intensity of this gym alone, mixed in with the world-class fighters, and superstars should be motivation enough for any fighter to want to succeed on the grandest level.