The WBO Middleweight Champion is putting on for his home State of Rhode Island while hunting Canelo Alvarez and GGG.
Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (27-0 17 KOs) is your typical Rhode Islander. Product of a hard working blue collar family that is also Cape Verdean.
Throughout New England, a good portion of people of color have ties to the small island west of Africa, and Andrade is no different.
“To be the first Cape Verdean as an undisputed champion would be history and the same for New England,” said Andrade. “We’ve only really had Vinny Paz and that was 30 years ago. I’m continuing to catapult myself to be the best I can and set the bar high for others.”
As the current WBO Middleweight Champion, Andrade is a relative unknown to boxing’s brigade of casual fans and even a bit obscure to the sports’ diehards.
However, he is the only other man holding a belt in the Middleweight division, similar to Deontay Wilder for the heavyweights, but he lacks the same level of hype.
“I’m an Olympian and a two-weight World champion, but that’s not enough because there’s a lot of people that haven’t seen my talent displayed in the mainstream like some other fighters,” said Andrade.
“Like Canelo Alvarez, as Golden Boy did a great job moving him and GGG had great promotion too, but they’re not the greatest talents out there, they are just the most popular. It’s called prize fighting and I am looking to capitalize on that, with the capital.”
At the Olympic trials, Andrade defeated Keith Thurman and represented the U.S. in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. Although he was expected to win a gold medal that year, he lost a controversial decision to Kim Jung-Joo and decided to go pro.
“I’ve got air in me now. Should I have been the guy like Canelo with the machine behind him? Yeah, I could’ve been that, but it didn’t fall that way for me, but now I’m here. I kept my focus in mind, body and soul and continued to grind, because anyone else, this boxing game is hard and people give up, especially when there’s no money coming in as you have to pay the bills.”
Now Andrade faces Maciej Sulecki on Saturday, June 29 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, live on DAZN.
This is his first fight at home as a World champion. It is also the second defense of the 160lb crown he landed in Boston in October against Walter Kautondokwa. He then stopped Artur Akavov in New York in January in his first defense.
However, Sulecki (28-1 11 KOs), is a Polish fighter that landed the bout after coming out on top against tough-as-nails Philly fighter, Gabriel Rosado in March.
“The Rosado fight was a grueling one for him, so he must have skills to be where he is and fight the fighters he’s fought. So unlike GGG who just boxed Steve Rolls who was ranked about 81 in the world, I’m fighting real guys.
“We are fighting tough guys to get it on with Canelo and GGG whereas they have been cherry picking and they can do that with the profile they have, it’s just business. I’m not upset about it because my time will come when I walk in with one belt and walk out with four.”
As one of the fighters signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, Andrade knows the boxing game can be treacherous. Like Tevin Farmer, Danny Jacobs, and the others now singing “Sweet Caroline”, Andrade is taking his chances with boxing’s newest blockbuster regime.
“Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA have realized the talent and the character that I am, and DAZN are doing a great job too, giving the different characters in the sport the exposure so that people can tune in outside the people we already know. Through the obstacles I’ve been through, they tried to sweep me under the rug, I got back up, wiped off the dirt and it’s me again.”