By: Hans Themistode
Promoter Eddie Hearn rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders when the news officially broke a few weeks ago.
With WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade desperate for a big fight, Hearn attempted to petition both the WBO and WBC sanctioning bodies to enforce a showdown between Andrade and WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo.
Despite Hearn’s request, Andrade was instead mandated to face Janibek Alikmhanuly. Though Hearn respects the overall skills of the Kazakhstan power puncher, the longtime promoter revealed that Andrade could opt to move up to 168 pounds to pursue a showdown against undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez. Now, it appears as though Andrade will take his talents eight pounds north.
The WBO sanctioning body has officially acquiesced to Andrade’s desires, ordering two interim bouts. The current middleweight champion will now look to face off against England’s undefeated Zach Parker for the interim 168 pound title. As for Alimkhanuly, he’ll square off against fellow highly ranked contender Esquiva Falcao for the interim 160 pound crown.
Should Andrade emerge successful in his bid to snag the super middleweight interim title, he’ll find himself in an ideal position to land a marquee showdown against Mexico’s Alvarez.
If, however, Andrade does enter the winners circle against Parker, that doesn’t mean he’ll be immediately granted a contest against Alvarez. Presently, as first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN, Alvarez is mulling over multiple deals that could see him face off against either WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol, or former longtime rival Gennadiy Golovkin.
Ultimately, Andrade won’t be given much time to see if a showdown against Alvarez will come to fruition, as the WBO sanctioning body will need a hasty response for his next move.
“Please be advised that the parties herein are granted 10-days upon issuing this order to commence negotiations for the subject matter bout and reach an agreement,” said Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee. “If an agreement is not reached within the time prescribed, purse bid proceedings will be ordered according to WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”
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