By Jim Calfa: The WBO ordered Demetrius Andrade and #1 ranked Zach Parker to begin negotiations on Friday for a fight for their interim super middleweight title.
In addition to the winner being the WBO interim 168-lb champion, it’s believed that they could become the mandatory to the World Boxing Organization’s super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
The 33-year-old Andrade has found himself unable to get any of the notable fighters at 160 to face him in the last four years since winning his WBO title in 2018.
It’s safe to say that if Andrade were to have chosen to stay at middleweight, the situation wouldn’t have improved, and he’d eventually lose his title against one of the obscure fighters in the division.
Andrade’s decision to go up in weight to 168 gives him a chance to get bigger fights against some of the top names in the division like Canelo, David Benavidez, and Caleb Plant.
Demetrius Andrade wants Canelo
Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) is vacating his WBO 160-lb title to move up to 168 with the intention of trying to force a fight against Canelo, who Demetrius has had no chances of fighting during his 14-year professional career.
During many of those years, Andrade has fought in the same weight classes as Canelo, yet he’s had no opportunity to fight him. Canelo hasn’t shown interest in fighting Demetrius.
The move up in weight for the former two-division world champion Demetrius, 33, will enable him to swerve his WBO 160-lb mandatory Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, who the sanctioning body had already ordered him to fight next.
That would have been a tough fight for the southpaw Andrade but he would have still had a good chance of winning based on his experience and slick boxing skills.
Andrade has recent wins over these fighters:
- Jason Quigley
- Liam Williams
- Luke Keeler
- Maciej Sulecki
- Artur Akavov
- Walter Kautondokwa
Zhanibek Alimkhanuly vs. Esquiva Falcao ordered
As for Andrade’s vacated WBO middleweight title, the sanctioning body ordered mandatory Zhanibek Alimkhanuly to face Esquiva Falcao for the interim WBO 160-lb title.
It’s unclear why the WBO isn’t making the Zhanibek vs. Falcao fight for the full title at 160, but they have their reasons.
The only explanation for that is that Andrade may have chosen to hold onto his WBO middleweight title just in case he loses his fight with Zach Parker at 168.
At least if Andrade is still in possession of his WBO middleweight title, he’ll have that to fall back on if the unbeaten Parker defeats him.
The 28-year-old Zhanibek (11-0, 9 KOs) is from Kazakhstan and competed in the 2016 Olympics for his country. Since turning professional in 2016, Zhanibek, 5’11 1/2″, has beaten the well-known fighters Rob Brant and Hassan Ndam.