WBO middleweight titleholder Demetrius Andrade is laughing off Luke Keeler’s belief that Andrade is “delusional” about his status in the sport, with Keeler saying Andrade hasn’t fought anyone, which frankly isn’t an unfair criticism.
But Andrade (28-0, 17 KO) is a massive favorite for Thursday night’s title fight in Miami, live on DAZN, and he doesn’t really care much what Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KO) has to say.
“Delusional? That’s a good one!” said Andrade. “I’ll give Luke credit where it’s due, it’s hard to get people to get in there with me and it’s his first world title fight, so I am expecting him to bring his A-game. I’m bringing mine, too, as I know what it’s like. I’ve been to the Olympics and to me there’s no bigger platform, but this is a massive stage and no other fighter or network has done this.
“I’m going to give him the beating of his life. He’s said that he would fight me for free, I’d say that you should want to get paid because these shots don’t come easy! I’m just very excited to get things in motion and prepare myself to get in great shape.”
Andrade says he hasn’t done a lot of film study on Dublin’s Keeler, but that’s not unusual for him.
“I’ve never watched a lot of fighters, I just concentrate on me,” he said. “It’s all about me and doing what I need to do to beat anyone that’s put in front of me, and that’s get in shape, stay fast, work on my range and timing. Whatever is being brought to me, through my work ethic and preparation I am able to weather any storm, adjust, land the shots I need to land and relax, because I’ve been doing this for a very long time and there’s nothing I haven’t seen style-wise.”
Andrade stresses, however, that he won’t ever allow himself to be arrogant about preparation, no matter the opponent.
“I’ll never get too comfortable and think, ‘I’m better than you so I don’t have to train’ — every fight is a multi-million dollar fight because if I don’t perform and win, the opportunities go out the window. I don’t slack on one punch or one training session because of that.”