Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KO) is set to defend his WBO middleweight title this Saturday night on DAZN, facing Maciej Sulecki (28-1, 11 KO) in a main event from Andrade’s hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.
The BLH staffers make their picks.
I think Sulecki is in theory if not reality a more live dog than most are going to expect. Those expectations will be in part because Sulecki doesn’t have any top-tier wins — though he gave Daniel Jacobs a good, competitive fight — and in part because he’s coming off of barely escaping disaster late against Gabriel Rosado.
It’s not so much that I think Sulecki is great as it is I think Andrade is still largely working off of the hype and promise from years past, a sale of his skills and style. Yeah, he’s won world titles at 154 and 160, and to get them, he’s beaten Vanes Martirosyan by split decision and Walter Kautondokwa. Between Martirosyan and Kautondokwa, he beat Brian Rose, Dario Pucheta, Willie Nelson, Jack Culcay, and Alantez Fox. Since Kautondokwa he’s beaten Artur Akavov. What do we know? That he’s at least better than second- and third-tier fighters. But I don’t think we know for sure he’s a true first-tier fighter himself.
I think this winds up a lot closer than anticipated, with Sulecki having an argument in the end. He won’t get the W in Providence against the unbeaten hometown titleholder, but it’ll be far from a wipeout. Andrade UD-12
I really like Maciej Sulecki as a fighter. Even though he lost to Daniel Jacobs in his first big test, I thought he handled himself really well, performed admirably, and I ended that particular night wanting to see more from the Polish fighter. Sulecki has since bounced back to score a couple of wins — his latest being a decision over Gabriel Rosado — but he’s taking a big step up in class here. I think Sulecki is good enough to give just about anyone at middleweight a go, but I think Andrade is a real top-tier talent who has been poorly promoted (a lot of which is his own fault) while not always doing himself any favors with his in-the-ring performances.
Andrade is a really solid technician with some good athleticism to go along with it, but I also think he’s sort of a goof who tends to fight down to the level of his opposition. I don’t think this fight will truly inspire Andrade, which should benefit Sulecki some, but I think Andrade is just too sharp and mobile for Sulecki to keep up with over the distance. Andrade has this Rigo-esque thing about him where he’s much more preoccupied with getting the win than putting on an exciting performance, and I expect him to make it a fairly dull fight if that’s his clearest path to victory. Andrade UD-12
Patrick L. Stumberg
Frankly, I’m still reeling from Andrade’s three-month turnaround between Walter Kautondokwa and Artur Akavov. That was the first time since 2013 that Andrade has fought twice in under seven months. Could we actually see him fight three times this year? Would that dosage be higher than Andrade’s LD50?
Jokes aside, this is by far the most interesting of our three fights this week from a matchmaking perspective, even though it’s likely to be the least viscerally entertaining. Andrade’s career has been so weirdly staggered that it’s easy to forget he’s never faced a truly elite fighter; I’m not sure Sulecki qualifies, but I’d say he’s at least around the level of Vanes Martirosyan or Jack Culcay, both of whom fought Andrade to split decisions.
Stylistically, though, Andrade’s length gives him the edge, and I’m not sure Sulecki’s got enough pop in that lovely right hand of his to turn the tide once “Boo Boo” starts building up a lead in volume. Sulecki makes a fight of it, banking four or five rounds, but Andrade’s 5.5” reach advantage carries him to a decision victory. Andrade UD-12
With an awkward southpaw stance and a well-conditioned gas tank capable of cantering into the championship rounds of fights, “Boo Boo” is the dark horse of the middleweight division – that’s if you are willing to consider a world champion a “dark horse”. It may take Sulecki the first half of the fight to work out the slick style of the WBO titlist, and by then, it will probably be too late for the Polish challenger to make a real mark on the fight. Sulecki has been hurt in three of his last four fights, sure Andrade isn’t known for being a killer, but he packs a big enough left hand to trouble “Striczu” when he begins to run out of ideas. I can see a late stoppage coming off the back of an Andrade flurry. Andrade TKO-10