Demetrius Andrade: I Owe Billy Joe Saunders A Beating

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By Jake Donovan

Demetrius Andrade isn’t prepared to discuss a contingency plan in the event he can’t land a coveted dream fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez or Gennadiy Golovkin.

In fact, there’s only other name beyond the big two that would even pique the interest of the unbeaten middleweight titlist. 

“I owe Billy Joe Saunders a beating,” Andrade (28-0, 17KOs) told and group of reporters following his 12-round win over Poland’s Maciej Sulecki (28-2, 11KOs) this past Saturday in his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.

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England’s Saunders (28-0, 13KOs) was still a reigning middleweight titlist when he was scheduled to defend versus Andrade in a battle of unbeaten southpaws and 2008 Olympians last October in Boston, Mass. The matchup was scrapped, however, after the brash British Romany Traveller tested positive for the banned substance Oxilofrine and was denied a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.

The development resulted in Saunders being stripped of his title, which Andrade claimed a in a 12-round win over unbeaten late replacement Walter Kautondokwa. Two defenses have followed, including Saturday’s win over Sulecki which marked his first pro fight in his Providence hometown and the city’s first title fight in nearly 28 years.

The short-term goal set out by promoter Eddie Hearn was to dismiss the notion that Andrade lacks a sustained fan base. With the show drawing more than 7,100 in attendance, coupled with his status as an unbeaten middleweight titlist, there are few remaining excuses as to why he can’t land big fights with the division’s reigning World (lineal) middleweight champion in Alvarez or former unified titlist Golovkin.

“Canelo, GGG are the champion, the former champion. These are the guys I want,” insists Andrade. “I just want to keep crossing these names off the list.”

Absent a fight against either, the only other fight that would even make him consider moving up in weight and crossing off another name would be to revisit old business.

Seven months after being stripped of his 160-pound title, Saunders captured a vacant super middleweight title with a 12-round win over Shefat Isufi this past May.

“There’s Billy Joe Saunders if I decide to (temporarily) go up to 168, I can talk to Eddie about that fight,” notes Andrade, though clarifying his primary intention to clean out the middleweight division. “I would love to go up there to fight him. We’re both WBO titlists, I can move up to 168 and fight him right away.”

Such an adventure would only be a one and done affair, though.

“Look, this ain’t about me moving up and facing these other guys,” exclaimed Andrade. “What everyone (in the media) needs to do is go out there and let it be known that Demetrius Andrade wants Canelo. Demetrius Andrade wants GGG.

“I’m not thinking about any other fights.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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