By Jim Strobridge: Promoter Eddie Hearn feels that Demetrius Andrade looked vulnerable enough against Liam Williams last Saturday night for IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin to be considered the favorite in a unification fight if they were to fight this year.
Andrade, 33, didn’t look so hot in beating Williams (23-3-1, 18KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida.
The scores for the Andrade vs. Williams fight:
Williams was down in the second but returned to hurt a tired Andrade in the ninth round with a right hand.
Demetrius gassed in the second half
It was clear that Andrade was exhausted in the second half of the contest, and it wasn’t just because of the pressure that Liam was putting on him.
Andrade doesn’t have a great engine, and we saw the same thing in his fight with Maciej Sulecki in 2019. Demetrius’ legs looked rubbery in the second half of the contest despite being allowed to fight at a slow pace by his opponent Sulecki.
After the fight, Hearn expressed interest in matching Demetrius with GGG, Jermall Charlo, or Chris Eubank Jr.
Unfortunately, the odds of WBO 160-lb belt-holder Andrade (30-0, 18 KOs) and Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) fighting each other in 2021 are remote, as the Kazahstan fighter is targeting a fight with WBA champion Ryota Murata on December 31st in Japan.
Hearn is hoping that Gennadiy, 39, agrees to face Andrade in a unification fight in the summer, and if he wins that fight, he’ll then take on Murata on New Year’s Eve on December 31st in Japan.
Hearn doesn’t understand why GGG would be happy to fight just once in 2021 when he could take two well-paying matches this year. It’s hard to say why Golovkin wouldn’t want to fight Andrade first before taking on Murata in December.
If Golovkin wants to maximize the three fights that he has left on his DAZN contract, perhaps he’s saving them in hopes that he can get a couple of matches against Canelo Alvarez.
That’s one way of looking at it. The other way is that Golovkin doesn’t want to take a risky fight against Demetrius that he could lose, so he’ll focus on taking safe opponents exclusively until he gets his massive trilogy payday fight with Canelo.
Many boxing fans believe Golovkin is just focused on taking sure-thing fights until he can land the trilogy match against Canelo. They point to the fact that Golovkin has taken matches against Kamil Szeremeta and Steve Rolls.
Although Szeremeta was indeed Golovkin’s IBF mandatory, what fans fail to realize is GGG chose to take that fight BEFORE the sanctioning body ordered it. In other words, Golovkin wanted the Szeremeta fight.
Liam Williams couldn’t stop Andrade’s uppercuts
“Demetrius comes out like an absolute train, and he had Liam Williams all over the place in the first three rounds,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social.
“Then Liam come back into it. I gave Liam the fourth round. I didn’t give him any rounds after that, but he hurt Demetrius in the ninth.
“But he’s so awkward to land clean on, and he sort of old-manned him. It was a 10-8 round [in the second] to start, and it was an uphill battle.
“He should feel proud of himself. As he said, he thinks Demetrius is the best middleweight in the world. That’s arguable. He did what I knew he would and that’s not stop trying, and that’s all you can ever ask.
“Liam’s people back home in Wales should be really proud of him because he didn’t stop trying and he deserves a lot of credit. In the first round, I thought it was over.
“He [Andrade] actually hurt him in the first round and hit him with a straight left hand through the guard to drop him [Williams] in the second. He couldn’t miss him with an uppercut all night,” Hearn said.
Liam was unable to figure out when Andrade was preparing to throw him uppercuts, which made him vulnerable to that punch throughout the contest last night.
Andrade looked fatigued
“Demetrius, I don’t know how well he did the weight,” said Hearn in noting how Andrade looked fatigued at times and his punch resistance was shaky.
“I don’t think very well looking at his performance because he didn’t look like he had the tank tonight, and Williams wouldn’t stop working him, working him and working him.
“He did brilliantly in that respect. But he [Andrade] took a couple of shots. Whether his resistance was what it should have been, I don’t think he can stay at 160 for many more fights.
“That’s why it’s so frustrating that none of the champions will face him. There were times in that fight where Williams looked like he could be wearing him down, but then Demetrius was so clever with the movement.
“He [Andrade] was smart with the holding and locking him up. He’d have his hand free on the side with the referee, and he’d lock him up with the right arm.
“He’s just a very well-schooled fighter,” said Hearn about Andrade’s ability to tie Liam up to prevent him from getting his shots off,” Hearn said.
Hearn may have forgotten how badly Demetrius faded in his fight with Sulecki in June 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Like last night’s bout, Andrade looked sensational early, hurting Sulecki in the second round and having him on the brink of a stoppage.
In the second half of the fight, Andrade looked ragged with rubbery legs, and he failed to impress the boxing public with that effort.
It was fortunate for Andrade that Sulecki lacked the power and talent to put it on him to take advantage of his fatigue.
We don’t know whether Andrade’s stamina problems will improve if he moves up in weight to 168. This may be a cardio issue that will remain constant for the remainder of Andrade’s career.
Demetrius can cover it up by fighting beatable fighters like Liam Williams. Still, if he faces fighters with talent like GGG, Charlo, Canelo Alvarez, David Benavidez, Billy Joe Saunders, or Caleb Plant, he’ll be at risk of losing.
Hearn wants Charlo or Gennadiy for Andrade
“I would have liked to have seen him [Demetrius] get the stoppage, but if he’d gone out there and destroyed him in three rounds, we’d have no chance making the fight,” Hearn said.
“The other way, he did look vulnerable at times. So I’m hoping that Gennadiy [Golovkin], Jermall [Charlo] will look at that and go, ‘You know, I can stop this guy,’ and we’ll see.
“It has to be because I don’t know what other fights to make at 160,” said Hearn when asked if Andrade’s next fight should be a unification fight against one of the other champions.
“But that’s not the fight that Demetrius Andrade wants. Andrade wants one of the champions. He wants Gennadiy Golovkin and he wants Jermall Charlo.
“Look, I work with Gennadiy Golovkin, but I feel he should fight him. He’s talking about fighting [Ryota] Murata on December 31st.
“That’s one fight in two years that he would have had. But I think Gennadiy Golovkin is the favorite against Demetrius Andrade, quite frankly, after that performance.
“Gennadiy could fight him in the summer and then unify [with Murata]. What about a fight between Gennadiy and [Jermall] Charlo in 2022? A monster undisputed fight.
“But Charlo, what is he doing fighting [Juan] Montiel? It’s embarrassing. Scrap the Montiel fight and just make this fight [Charlo vs. Andrade] in the summer.
“They could do it on pay-per-view, it would do big numbers, and his brother [Jermell] is out there unifying the [154-lb] division in great fights against [Brian] Castano.
“I don’t understand. But yeah, another win [for Andrade] and we keep trying,” said Hearn.
WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) already has a summer fight lined up against #4 WBC Juan Macias Montiel, so he’s not going to agree to face Andrade. One gets the sense that even if Charlo didn’t have a match scheduled, he wouldn’t agree to face Andrae.
It’s obvious that Charlo is only interested in milking his WBC 160-lb belt against beatable opposition, and he’s not going to rock the boat by taking a fight that he’s not certain of the outcome against Andrade.
It’s fair to say Golovkin won’t agree to fight Andrade, even though he would have a good chance of winning. GGG seems to be focused on playing it safe, getting easy paydays until Canelo gives him the trilogy match he’s been angling for since 2018.
Eubank Jr an option for Demetrius
“Chris Eubank Jr in London, a decent fight,” said Hearn about another potential option for Demetrius. “On the back of that performance, you’d have to say that Eubank brings great pressure. He’s got a fantastic chin.
“He’s going to get pinged all over the place, but he’s got a great engine, he won’t stop coming and he can punch. Let’s see how he [Eubank Jr] gets on with Marcus Morrison [on May 1st],”said Hearn.
Eubank Jr fights against Morrison next month, and if he wins that one spectacularly, he might be the most viable option for Andrade.
It would be a dangerous fight for Andrade because Eubank Jr is a pressure fighter and a combination puncher with excellent power. Eubank Jr likes to throw uppercuts as well, but he throws them in combination.
Instead of letting loose with one uppercut, Eubank will throw four in a row like a jackhammer. If Andrade gets hit with those kinds of shots from Eubank, he could get stopped.