By: Sean Crose
I was sitting ringside in between fights at a Connecticut Casino when I noticed he was next to me, speaking with one of the other reporters. Demetrius Andrade was checking out the fights that night and was discussing when he himself would be returning to boxing after a long layoff. I remember asking myself when the talented Rhode Islander would finally find himself in the spotlight. Years later, I once again found myself ringside watching Andrade in action, this time inside the ring at Boston’s TD Center. I had been excited to cover Andrade’s scheduled fight against Billy Joe Saunders that night. Finally, I felt, Andrade would be facing competition worthy of his skill set. Sadly, Saunders had to pull out of the fight and Andrade was left to face the widely unknown Walter Kautondokwa instead.
Now, over half a decade later, Andrade will finally get his chance to shine when he faces the intimidating, hard hitting, and confident super middleweight David Benavidez this Saturday in the main event of Showtimes’ final pay per view card. It may be the end of an era as far as Showtime Boxing is concerned, but it will be the beginning of an entirely new era for Andrade if he manages to best the menacing Benavidez. That, however, is no guarantee. This is a very nice matchup on paper. Credit to Benavidez for taking on a serious challenge this Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas when he could have made things a lot easier on himself by picking a lesser opponent while waiting for a chance to finally get inside the ring with undisputed super middleweight king Canelo Alvarez.
Make no mistake about it, Andrade is going to have his work cut out for him when he slips between the ropes at the Michelob Ultra Arena on Saturday. Sure enough, a lot will be at stake for both fighters this weekend. It will be difficult, after all, for Canelo to continue to be the undisputed champion of the division without having to face the winner of this matchup. No one truly knows what’s going to transpire when Andrade and Benavidez answer the opening bell. It’s a certainty, however, that Andrade will have finally gotten his moment in the spotlight. What he’ll do with it is up to him – and, of course, Benavidez. He’s longed for this opportunity for ages. If Andrade wants another one like it, he’ll have to earn it in the ring.
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