You want a super prospect? Well for week 3 we have a piece on possibly the most hyped young American fighter in recent history, as well as a special look at at least 1 other fighter in what will be once of the busiest weeks. All I’ll say for now is that that fighter has been compared to Sugar Ray Robinson already and has sparred with Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan (he was said to have been “Dead Even” with Khan).
For this week however we have Demetrius Andrade as our fighter of interest, one of a host of young Americans on their way up. Andrade, an unbeaten 22 year old with a record of 10-0 (7) has been around for what seems like years despite having only been a pro for just over a year and a half. The thing about him is that many will remember “Boo Boo” being surrounded with hype as he turned professional. The hype of his amateur days followed him through as he signed a pro deal, having been one of the USA’s great hopes at the 2008 Olympics. Although he flopped in Beijing going out in the quarter finals to Kim Jung-Joo from South Korea he had gone in as one of the favourites having won the 2007 World Amateur Champions Gold at the Welterweight division in Chicago. This gold was in addition to the Pan Am silver he won in Rio the same years which had seen him become one of the best prospects for the US at the games and in the eyes of many, he had been robbed there by poor officials.
The talented amateur star wasn’t willing to wait until 2012 to try and improve his Olympic record so instead turned to the pro ranks where he’s slowly amassed his record since October 2008. Having debuted on the undercard of an IBF featherweight title fight where he knocked Patrick Cape in the second round Andrade has been brought along carefully and slowly as he gets used to fighting with out the head gear. Having had 4 easy KO’s in his first 4 fights he was given a stiffer test in the 8-1-1 (4) Tony Hirsch who managed to see the final bell with Andrade. Although “Boo Boo” won every round on every card in a controlled performance he showed that perhaps he hadn’t full grown into his power and at 21 it’s perhaps to be expected. Since then he has won 5 more fights against low key opponents with both Chris Chatman and Geoffrey Spruiell extending him the 6 round schedules only losing a single round on a single card combined.
At 6 foot 1 it’s unlikely that Light Middleweight will be the weight in which Andrade really establishes himself, in fact it’s quite likely he’ll end up as high as Light Heavyweight before his career comes to a close though at 22 and whilst able to make the 154lbs limit it’s looking likely that he’ll remain here for the foreseeable future. In his next fight, which is scheduled for 6 rounds he faces the experienced (37 years old) Quandray Robertson a fighter who has fought between Welterweight and Middleweight in a 24 fight career since1997 winning 15 (with 10KO’s) and losing 9 (8 losses by stoppage). It would be hoped that Andrade will be able to get rid of the veteran inside the distance, though he has only been stopped inside 6 rounds twice in his career (one of those coming against Sergiy Dzinziruk). It’s a bout that should be a safe one for a fighter as highly talented as Andrade is, as he slowly starts to step up his opponents over the next 12 months or so.
If he manages to, as expected, beat Robertson, don’t expect him in a difficult contest for a while as Arthur Pelullo and his Banner Promotions are likely to bring him along slowly on the under cards of their bigger fighters building his record and experience before letting the confident and lanky youngster loose. For those who read last weeks column it’s true McWilliams Arroyo was upset, just like Kenny Galarza the week before, though I can’t see any problems for Andrade here.