K2 Promotions outbid Banner Promotions and Star Boxing for the rights to a WBO junior middleweight title fight between Zaurbek Baysangurov and Demetrius Andrade, with a bid of $501,200. Banner & Star Boxing put in a bid of $401,000.
Baysangurov (28-1, 20 KO) has held the title since 2012, after winning the interim belt in 2011. He's made defenses against Michel Soro and Lukas Konecny, both entertaining fights. His one and only career loss was an upset at the hands of K9 Bundrage in 2008, and he's gone 9-0 since then.
Andrade (19-0, 13 KO) has recently moved down to 154 after starting his career as a middleweight. The 6'1" southpaw is the more skilled fighter, but he's highly untested as a pro, and has drawn his share of criticism for careful matchmaking, particularly from Teddy Atlas during Andrade's frequent ESPN Friday Night Fights appearances. His last bout, a win over Freddy Hernandez, aired on ShoBox in January. Andrade won a 10-round, shutout decision.
Does the 25-year-old "Boo Boo" have it mentally to beat Baysangurov right now? That's the real question. Physically, I don't think there's any question he has the goods to beat a guy like Zaurbek, but Baysangurov is a high-motor fighter who will test Andrade's resolve and ability to deal with pressure. It could be a very interesting fight.