Demetrius Andrade has spent a whole career being avoided.
That is until Saturday, November 25th, when he faces David Benavidez in a bout that Andrade feels is for who is the best in the super middleweight division. Andrade will look to position himself to become a three-division world champion in 2024, as he previously held world titles in the junior middleweight and middleweight divisions, respectively.
The bout which will take place at the Michelob Ultra Arena at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be broadcast on Showtime pay-per-view, holds implications for the top of the division and despite no outright world titles being on the line. An interim world title will be at stake, which could serve as a number-one contender spot in the future as all four belts in the super middleweight division are held by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Andrade sees the bout as ‘the best versus the best’, and the Super Bowl of the division. Here is why.
“Why didn’t Canelo fight Demetrius Andrade, why didn’t Canelo fight David Benavidez,” Andrade told ProBox TV. “If David Benavidez lost a belt on the scale and Canelo [went] and fought for the vacant belt against a guy nobody knows [Avni Yildirim], you don’t see him today. So how is he fighting the best? After you do win the vacant belt, why wouldn’t you give the champion, David, an opportunity to fight for that belt - I don’t understand. How is that trying to fight the best?”
“To take this fight, to jump up to [the super middleweight division], and I want to fight the best fighter in that weight class, and it is [David Benavidez]. He really never lost his belt, he lost to the scale, but nobody beat him for it. That put him in a position where he was able to regain the interim [world title], and I moved up and I am already considered one of the best [super middleweights] out there…but putting this fight together just answers all the questions. It's just not all the excuses of me not being able to fight this person, I ducked this person, I ducked that person - NO! There are [no more] excuses, the excuses ran out. David had nowhere to go, and I didn’t have anywhere to go as far as fighters wanting to fight me. So it only made sense.”
“Stylistically I think me and David Benavidez bring a better fight than David vs Canelo or Demetrius and Canelo, this is a real match-up…who has really fought anybody right now. Who has David fought? I don’t know. Who has he fought that is so great? So at the end of the day, there are not that many great opportunities [or] great fighters out there, so that being said, it is about the best fighting the best, and the match-ups being made regardless of somebodies resume, who [have] they fought. I never got the opportunity to fight ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley, [Miguel] Cotto, Floyd Mayweather, [Sergio] Martinez, I didn’t get that opportunity. That is the way it is.”
The elephant in the room for all of this is Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed super middleweight champion. He has two more fights with Premier Boxing Champions, the lead entity involved in this production, and will fight on Showtime pay-per-view in 2024 two times. The winner of this bout would be in line to be the WBC super middleweight interim champion and mandatory challenger for Canelo’s title. Canelo’s WBC title defense will be required in May of 2024. Despite, Canelo not being involved in the fight, two of the most avoided fighters in the division, Andrade and Benavidez, have a good chance at landing that fight. Yet, Andrade doesn’t hold out any hope that a win will move him any closer to a Canelo fight, as it is clear Canelo’s mockery of Andrade at a press conference when he said ‘payday’ in English that went viral seemingly still rubs Andrade the wrong way. As did Canelo not fighting him when they shared the same promoter and network in Matchroom and DAZN.
“Yeah, because that is what he does, why did you fight this Yildirim dude for a vacant, why not fight David,” questioned Andrade on Canelo’s thought process toward legacy and facing the best at all times. “Why not face Demetrius Andrade for the undisputed [middleweight title] when the option is there, but instead you go and fight, and again no disrespect, but you go and fight [Sergey] Kovalev, who is damaged goods. Then he fights someone who is actually good like Dmitry Bivol, who understands boxing, has been around, and gave him a hard time - and then the excuses start coming. ‘He was too big,’ come on, man. Enough with the [expletive], just be happy we just [saw] two good fighters fighting each other. No excuses, it is what it is."