Thus ends the middleweight reign of Demetrius Andrade.
With a purse bid looming for his mandated WBO middleweight title defense against Janibek Alimkhanuly, Chris Mannix reports that “Boo Boo” will instead vacate the title and move to super middleweight, where his team is “working on completing” a deal to meet Zach Parker in a final eliminator.
WBO rules generally allow a rising champion to cut to the front of the line, as seen with Emanuel Navarette, Shakur Stevenson, and most notably Oleksandr Usyk. That said, Parker’s (22-0, 16 KO) coming up on two years since stopping Rohan Murdock in what was supposedly a final eliminator, so it’s not too surprising that Paco Valcarcel and co. are making an exception.
Andrade (31-0, 19 KO) will look to become a three-division champion, having briefly held the WBO super welterweight belt before being stripped for inactivity. His 160-pound reign, which began with a wide decision over Walter Kautondokwa when Billy Joe Saunders vacated due to a failed drug test, concludes with five successful defenses.
Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7 KO) will presumably now square off with one of his fellow ranked contenders for the belt. He sits at #2 in the WBO rankings behind Jaime Munguia, who’s seemingly pursuing WBC gold instead; this would make #3 Esquiva Falcao the obvious dance partner for “Qazaq Style,” but Mannix calls #5 Chris Eubank Jr. a “possible opponent” should he get past Liam Williams next week.