By Sean Jones: Demetrius Andrade is making a bold move in vacating his WBO middleweight title to move up quickly to 168 to go after WBO champion Canelo Alvarez to force the famous four-belt undisputed champion to face him or vacate.
To catch up to Canelo’s fleeing ship, Andrade will need to defeat #1 WBO Zach Parker (22-0, 16 KOs) in a title eliminator at super middleweight to become the mandatory for that title.
Andrade ready to pluck the golden goose
At this point, it’s the right move for the unbeaten 33-year-old Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) to move up to 168 in pursuit of Canelo so he can pluck the golden goose of his feathers.
If Andrade stays at 160, he would need to defend his WBO middleweight against his mandatory Zhanibek Alimkhanuly next, and that wouldn’t be a walk in the park.
Besides, there wouldn’t be a lot of money to be made for Demetrius, a fight that could prove to be the toughest of his career. The 2016 Olympian Zhanibek is a big puncher, and he would make it tough on Andrade.
Andrade vacating WBO title
It’s not that big of a deal for Andrade to be vacating his WBO 160-lb title because he’s been frozen out by these top fighters:
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Jermall Charlo
- Jaime Munguia
Staying at 160 would mean that Andrade would be stuck defending the belt against obscure fighters that the boxing public in the U.S has never heard of and doesn’t care to see.
“The three year-reign for Demetrius Andrade is over. I have been told that Andrade intends to vacate his WBO 160-lb title and move up to 168 pounds,” said Chris Mannix on JABs on DAZN Boxing Show.
“The plan is for Andrade to fight Zach Parker in an elimination fight, which would make the winner the mandatory for one of the belts [WBO] held by Canelo Alvarez.
“Andrade has had a tough time getting fights at 160. Is it the right move for Andrade to go up to 168?”
“It’s not only the right move to go up to 168, but not to fight his mandatory,” said Sergio Mora. “I’ll tell you, man, this Zhanibek Alimkhanuly is going to be no joke to fight.
“The former Olympian, a southpaw version of Gennadiy Golovkin, was going to be all headache. Too much risk and no reward, and Demetrius Andrade knows what other champions Charlo and Canelo think of Andrade.
“It’s too much risk and not enough reward, so he’s going up to super middleweight. Who knows who he’s going to fight up there, but the right move and continue chasing big money and the big names, even if it’s at 168,” said Mora.
At least with Andrade moving up to super middleweight, he can make Canelo look bad if he elects to swerve a fight against him. At 168, Andrade can get fights against Caleb Plant, David Benavidez, and David Morrell Jr, if not against Canelo.
Winning a third division title important
It would help Andrade’s popularity to win the WBO 168lb title in 2022, as the boxing public would be aware that he’s capturing the strap in the same weight class as Canelo.
Where Andrade was previously at 160 wasn’t going to help his career because the weight division has been a dead one.
With Canelo having moved up to 168 and Gennadiy Golovkin rarely fighting anymore, the 160-lb division has become a dead one, barren of talent and compelling fights.
Andrade would have done himself a huge favor if he’d given up his WBO 160-lb title in 2021 and moved up to 168 because he could have already boxed Canelo in, forcing him to face him.
“You comparing Andrade to Zhanibek is ludicrous,” said Mannix. “Zhanibek has no title. Zhanibek has no money. In the last three years, Andrade has had a belt and a boatload of money behind him.
“So there really is no comparison on that front,” Mannix continued. “All that being said, I have been on record saying that I would have liked to have seen Andrade stay at 160 and make one more run at [Jaime] Munguia or Golovkin or [Jermall] Charlo.
“But I understand reading the landscape, one of those fights would have been difficult to make over the next six months. You’ve got Munguia scheduled to fight D’Mitrius Ballard in February and then targeting a fight against Gennadiy Golovkin next.
“You’ve got Golovkin fighting in March or April and then either fighting Canelo or probably Munguia after that. Then, of course, Canelo is no longer in Andrade’s weight class.
“He may be fighting Jermall Charlo in his next fight, which will take another middleweight title off the table. In moving up to 168, Andrade will put himself in position at 33-years-old to win a world title in a third weight class.
“So it’s not perfect, and it’s not the fight that Andrade was looking for, but winning a title in a third weight class is a decent accomplishment, and so will the money that comes along with it,” said Mannix.
Zach Parker isn’t the fight that Andrade has been looking for, but if he defeats him, he’ll be mandatory for Canelo’s 168-lb belt with the WBO.
There’s a good chance Canelo will throw the WBO title overboard to lighten his ship’s load to flee the pursuing Demetrius.
Canelo has to get rid of ballast to keep his ship afloat because he’s being chased by the lions Andrade, David Benavidez, and David Morrell Jr. at 168.
The golden-haired-Canelo can’t be weighed down by titles that would allow these buccaneers to catch him and strip him of his loot.
Demetrius can continue making millions
There’s a high probability that Canelo will quickly vacate his WBO 168-lb title if Andrade defeats #1 Zach Parker in the title eliminator.
Canelo will stay true to form and give up his WBO super middleweight title like it’s a hot potato. Indeed, Sean Jones is predicting it right now.
Canelo won’t get rid of his WBO 168lb title quickly enough if Andrade beats Parker because he wants NO part of the Providence, Rhode Island native.
On the other hand, if the 27-year-old Parker (22-0, 16KOs) somehow pulls off an upset of the ages against Andrade, Sean Jones expects Canelo to hold onto his WBO title and defend it against the British fighter. It’s all so utterly predictable.
“I keep saying it, and I’m going to say it again. Andrade will continue making millions by beating his mandatory’s, even if they’re at 168 now,” said Mora. “Comparing Zhanibek to Andrade, there are some comparisons there.
“They’re both high IQ, southpaws, Olympian, but dropping him aside, it’s the right move for Andrade because he’s not going to get the Canelos, the Charlos, or anyone else.
“But if he can continue making a lot of money defending his titles, staying unblemished, undefeated, and staying on the radar, he might strike gold by continuing to be patient and continuing to make a lot of money,” said Mora.
“What’s a fighter with a high IQ? What is that?” said Mannix.
“A high fight IQ, that’s what I said,” said Mora.
Well, Andrade will still need to get his hands on Canelo’s WBO title at 168 for him to continue to make millions, and that’s going to require the World Boxing Organization to order the fight.
If the WBO lags after Andrade beats POoarker in the title eliminator, Canelo will probably hold onto the title until the fight is ordered.