Demetrius Andrade will make the first defense of his WBO middleweight belt, which he defeated Walter Kautondokwa to claim in October, on January 18th, headlining a DAZN card from Hulu Theater against former title challenger Artur Akavov.
The card will also feature super lightweights Chris Algieri and Jorge Linares in separate bouts. According to Eddie Hearn, both are in consideration to challenge WBO champion Maurice Hooker later next year.
Andrade (26-0, 16 KO) was originally slated to challenge Billy Joe Saunders for the latter’s title on October 20th, only for Saunders to fail a drug test and vacate his belt. In came Kautondokwa, whom Andrade battered on his way to producing some of the most one-sided scorecards I’ve ever seen: 120-104 from two of the three judges.
He was also recently arrested for an unregistered handgun, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing him down.
Akavov (19-2, 8 KO) is ranked #8 by the WBO, but did give Saunders everything he could handle back in 2016. He’s since beaten a trio of marginal opposition.