Demetrius Andrade, who has long railed against major fighters for refusing to face him in high-risk, low-reward matchups, will ditch his middleweight title to avoid a high-risk, low-reward matchup. Jake Donovan reports that rather than face interim WBO champion Janibek Alimkhanuly as ordered, “Boo Boo” is set to move to super middleweight and “revisit” an interim title fight with Zach Parker that collapsed in May after Andrade injured his shoulder.
His reign ends with five defenses in around 3.5 years, the best of them coming against Liam Williams.
Andrade (31-0, 19 KO) initially received approval to put the Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KO) fight on the backburner, but after the Parker fight fell through, the due date for a mandatory defense rapidly approached, hence a new order in July. Since he clearly had no intention of ever fighting “Qazaq Style,” he could have just ditched the belt then and there, but instead elected to hold onto it for the full 30 days.
Can I just say, what the hell is up with the belt squatting of late? If you’re going to turn down a mandatory, just dump the title and don’t waste everyone’s time. That said, it’s very funny that he’s clearly angling to set up a mandatory Canelo fight when Canelo doesn’t even have a title at the moment.
As for Alimkhanuly, he gets bumped up to full champion status. My guess is that his inaugural defense will come against a mandatory challenger. Jaime Munguia’s currently number one, but I’m pretty sure he’s burned that bridge pretty thoroughly at this point, which would leave #2 Chris Eubank Jr. Assuming Eubank gets past Conor Benn without issue, that could be a pretty fun matchup.