Super middleweight contender Librado Andrade (27-2, 21 KO, No. 3 Ring rankings) will return to the ring on April 4 in Montreal to take on Ukraine's Vitali Tsypko (22-2, 12 KO) in an IBF eliminator, the main co-feature beneath the Timothy Bradley-Kendall Holt junior welterweight title unification.
The press release for the event calls Andrade "Montreal's adopted son," as the fans took a strong liking to him after his notorious title bid last time out against Lucian Bute. If you live under a rock, just plain missed it, or are totally new to the sport, you can read all about that bizarro mess here.
Andrade, a Golden Boy fighter, should be a heavy favorite over Tsypko, who was last seen by most of us in his December 2006 crack at Jeff Lacy. Tsypko lost by majority decision, though I thought he won the fight. Then again I think Lacy has lost four of his last five (Calzaghe, Tsypko, Manfredo, Taylor) and the other one I had a very close win for Lacy (Mendoza). So I'm not exactly giving Tsypko high marks. In reality, Jeff is 3-2 in his last five.
Andrade is one of the sport's most exciting fighters simply because he's a banger who probably takes the best punch in the business. Antonio Margarito (pre-controversy Margarito) was the only guy I put on level with Andrade, and now he's been knocked out. Andrade is the human Terminator -- he's defeatable, but you have to fire some pretty heavy ammunition. Mikkel Kessler couldn't make a mark on the guy beating the crap out of him for twelve shutout rounds, and Bute never deterred him even though he won the majority of the fight, too.
Here's hoping that Andrade's trainer, Howard Grant, won't be suspended for this show as he was for Herman Ngoudjo's loss to Juan Urango in January, and that Marlon B. Wright is kept the hell out of the building.