Unbeaten WBO junior middleweight titlist Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade will defend his title for the first time on June 14, when he faces the United Kingdom's Brian "The Lion" Rose in the HBO co-feature on Boxing After Dark at the Barclays Center, but he's got big game in his sights, or at least hopes.
Andrade (20-0, 13 KO) won the vacant belt against Vanes Martirosyan in November, and will now make his HBO debut, supporting Ruslan Provodnikov's 140-pound title defense against Chris Algieri in Brooklyn.
"I'm the people's champ and that's what I'm going to be forever," he told FOX Atlanta, where he's training for the fight Of the title win, he said, "One of the greatest highlights of my career. We did everything we needed to do to come away with the victory and bring this WBO belt home with us."
Rose (25-1-1, 7 KO) may not be considered an elite contender at 154 pounds, but he's no pushover, either. A former British champion with several solid wins at domestic level, he last fought on October 26 of last year, beating Javier Maciel.
"This bad boy right here, Brian Rose from the UK, he's 25-1, he's coming to take this," Andrade said, referring to the belt. "My job is to work hard, prepare the way I did to get this belt, and get that victory and send him back home with that loss."
The 26-year-old Andrade says that the title isn't the ultimate source of his pride, though he hopes it can instill a sense of confidence and belief in people with a background similar to his.
"This is a little prize, this is a little trophy. What means a lot to me is where I started from, growing up," he said. "I'm able to give back to my community, give people inspiration and hope, to believe in themselves, that they can achieve and do whatever it is they want to do in life."
As for that big game? Floyd Mayweather is on Andrade's mind, as Demetrius sees Mayweather running out of opposition for his next three fights. If he can score some impressive wins and remain undefeated, Andrade -- though an outsider -- would in theory have some shot at scoring that fight.
"He don't have an opponent. I'm willing to put my belt up versus his belt," he said. "Let's make it happen! Why not? He's undefeated, he's the best, and I believe I'm going to be the best, and I'm undefeated. So why not the best fight the best?"
While many fans will write off Andrade as a dreamer on this count, remember that it wasn't too long ago that we would have scoffed at the idea of Mayweather fighting either Robert Guerrero or Marcos Maidana, two of Floyd's last three opponents. With the recent issues at Golden Boy Promotions, and the uncertain nature of what's happening there, Floyd may be scrambling for opposition to fulfill his final three bouts with CBS Sports and Showtime. Andrade would have to make some kind of statement (and one bigger than Brian Rose, for sure), but if he puts in the work, sure, that fight could conceivably happen in the last 18 to 24 months or so.