If you were to ask me to name three fighters worth keeping a close eye on in the sport of boxing, Demetrius Andrade (22-0, 15 KOs) would be on that list -- I really think he's the goods. But Andrade has been plagued by promotional issues which have led to him fighting only four time in the last three years, which needless to say isn't a great pace for a 27-year-old who should be in the prime of his career.
Despite being stripped of his WBO world title last year due to his inactivity, Andrade has been casted in the WBC's tournament for fill the junior middleweight world title vacated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. His first opponent will be Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs).
"Our fight will be a steppingstone for the winner, who will be the mandatory contender to fight for the WBC 154-pound championship.
"I was the WBO 154-pound world champion and we all know I was stripped of the title," added Andrade. "In my mind, I'm still world champion because I'm undefeated. I didn't lose my belt in the ring. They took it from me. I don't know when I'll be fighting Hatley. Negotiations are going on and we have until sometime next month. I'm not sure of the exact date or it'll go to purse bid. A lot depends on the network that wants to showcase our fight."
The winner of Andrade-Hatley will have to face the winner of Jermell Charlo-John Jackson, and Andrade is sort of hoping that Charlo wins so he can take care of that unfinished busines.
"Part of me wants Charlo to win because we had the opportunity to fight before (a Dec. 2014 bout was mentioned but fell out) and now more is at stake and more money will be on the table. His belt will be on the line, not mine. I'm going to be the first to beat both Charlo twins; I want both of those boys. But the other half of me just wants the best man to win, Charlo or Jackson. I'm getting the winner."
"This is going to be a turnaround year for me. Nobody can run in the WBC tournament. This is a great opportunity for me. This WBC tournament can do for me what the ‘Super Six Tournament' did for Andre Ward. Winning the Super Six made Ward who he is today. There's no more ducking me."
Will this finally be a breakout year for Andrade? Well we'll have to see wait and see. If he can keep his business straight outside of the ring he certainly has a chance, because talent has never been his issue.