By: Sean Crose
“It feels great to be out so soon,” says WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade. “It’s the first time that has happened to me for so long…it used to be eight months or once a year, so it just goes to show the difference between the levels of promoters that you go with.” The 26-0 Rhode Island native is set to face the 19-2 Artur Akavov this Friday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden Theater in a bout that will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Since teaming up with British super promoter Eddie Hearn, the once inactive Andrade is on the road to being one of the more active name fighters in the business.
“Eddie is keeping me active and he knows that the more active I am the better the fighter I am,” says Andrade, whose last bout was a sound decision win against Water Kautondokwa at the TD Center in Boston last October. “Eddie wants to make a statement, show people that the way it’s done in the UK is how it should be done in the US, he’s young and I am too – we have the same hunger, he wants to be the top promoter and I want to be the top fighter. Knowing I can be one of the leading fighters on DAZN and they are doing a great job all around.”
Although well regarded, undefeated, and in possession of a title, Andrade still feels he has something to prove. He’s not, however, letting some dry spots on his resume get the better of him. “I’m undefeated,” he says, “(a) 2008 Olympian, and everyone has their time and obstacles to get over.” Matchroom Boxing, the force behind the Andrade-Akavov fight, states that “ Andrade’s clash with Akavov is part of a huge triple-header of World title action at Madison Square Garden, as TJ Doheny defends his IBF World Super-Bantamweight title against Japan’s Ryohei Takahashi.”
“I’m not satisfied,” Andrade says. “I’ve always been at the top but now I’m growing in the top of the mainstream. The boxing world knows I’m the baddest man out there but not having the right promotion behind me putting me out there has hurt me and that’s why I’ve made the changes and Matchroom and DAZN know what I can bring and they can move me to the next level – my job is to win.”