Demetrius Andrade’s first real middleweight test is imminent. Eddie Hearn revealed today that the WBO has ordered “Boo Boo” to face mandatory challenger Liam Williams, and that Matchroom intends to stage it in Andrade’s native Providence, RI in June.
Andrade (29-0, 18 KO) was slated to challenge Billy Joe Saunders for the belt shortly after beating Alantez Fox in his divisional debut, but controversy over a failed drug test led to a vacant title bout between Andrade and unheralded Walter Kautondokwa. Andrade wound up dropping him four times and cruising to three successful title defenses, including a dominant decision over Maciej Sulecki and a one-sided rout of Luke Keeler.
Williams (22-2-1, 17 KO) figures to be a far more daunting challenge. “The Machine” has been on the warpath since a pair of controversial losses to Liam Smith, racking up six consecutive knockouts against the likes of Mark Heffron, Karim Achour, and the aforementioned Fox in a December eliminator.
It’s not the unification Hearn (and, I assume, the general public) wants, but it’s a very solid fight between a still-unproven champion and a deserving contender. Hope it doesn’t wind up competing with anything.