Middleweight world titlist Demetrius Andrade wanted to send a message to the two major stars of the middleweight division, unified champion Canelo Alvarez and former unified champion Gennady Golovkin, that he was ready for a mega fight.
“Boo Boo” did just that in a triumphant homecoming on Saturday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Andrade, who drew a raucous crowd of 7,136 to the first fight of his 11-year professional career in his hometown, retained his 160-pound belt for the second time as he knocked Maciej Sulecki down in the first round and rolled to a shutout decision — 120-107 on all three scorecards — in a dazzling performance to stay on track for a potential fight with Canelo or GGG. ESPN also had it 120-107 for Andrade, who called out the big names after the fight, just as he had beforehand.
“Where’s Canelo? Where’s GGG? What’s the holdup?” Andrade said. “I didn’t look past Sulecki. I just knew I was going to beat him.”
Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs), 31, a southpaw, gave the hometown fans something to cheer wildly about in a huge opening round in which he wobbled Sulecki (28-2, 11 KOs), 30, of Poland, early with a left hand and then floored him with another left on top of the head moments later. Andrade kept firing and hurting Sulecki, who was in all sorts of trouble throughout the round.
Andrade is known for being a technician in the ring, but he was very aggressive against Sulecki, going after him with combinations and double jabs while also keeping a tight defense. It made for a crowd-pleasing performance, even when he eased up on the aggression later in the fight. But it was still the kind of all-around performance that might give other top middleweights second thoughts about wanting to fight him.
“If I would’ve stopped him? No. If I outbox him? No,” Andrade said of other top middleweights’ desire to face him. “I still beat [Sulecki] for 12 rounds. If you want to say you’re a legend and you’re the top guy, then you need to come this way. There’s no other way. I don’t want to fight the bottom guys. Sulecki is a top-10 guy. There are no more. I keep beating them, I keep beating them, I just keep beating them.”
Andrade, once chronically inactive but in his third fight in eight months, was so in control that in the fifth round he stopped for a moment to imitate the Muhammad Ali shuffle, much to the delight of the crowd.
Sulecki, who has been knocked down in three of his past four fights (Andrade, twice by Gabe Rosado and by Daniel Jacobs), could barely land anything solid as Andrade, a two-time junior middleweight world titlist and 2008 U.S. Olympian, outboxed and outpunched him round after round.
In the 10th round, Andrade connected with several thudding straight left hands that got the crowd excited as he continued to extend his obvious lead against Sulecki, whose only previous loss was a decision in a competitive fight with former middleweight titlist Jacobs.
Even with Andrade — who earned a career-high $1.5 million to Sulecki’s purse of approximately $400,000 — in total control of a one-sided fight in the final few rounds, his hometown fans were on their feet and cheering his every punch and counter punch.
“I am the best out here. He stepped up to the plate. Sulecki was a tough guy. He wasn’t taking no for an answer,” Andrade said. “He came to fight, though, and I did what I had to do, and that’s look pretty. Tall, black, handsome.”
According to CompuBox punch statistics, the fight was every bit the landslide as the official scores were, as Andrade landed 133 of 496 shots (27%) while Sulecki landed only 51 of 331 (15%). Sulecki never landed more than seven punches in a round and connected with only one of the 29 punches he threw in the fifth round.
“Sulecki was a great fighter. Top-10 guy, he came after it all night and let me utilize my tools,” Andrade said. “I gave people another great 12 rounds of boxing. I used my jab. Sulecki is no pushover.”
Then Andrade took a shot at recent GGG and Canelo opponents, who were not highly regarded.
“[Sulecki] ain’t no Steve Rolls, ain’t no Rocky Fielding. So Canelo, where your cajones at? Let’s get it,” Andrade said of Golovkin’s foe on June 8 and Alvarez’s in December.
Alvarez, coming off a decision win in a unification fight with Jacobs in May, is due back in the ring on Sept. 14, with a third fight against Golovkin in talks, although there are issues and Canelo might instead move up to light heavyweight and challenge world titlist Sergey Kovalev, the best-known fighter in the deep 175-pound division.
If Golovkin does not get the third fight with Alvarez, Andrade could wind up facing GGG in the fall, but that’s a big if because GGG might not be all that interested given the difficult style Andrade would present. Andrade just wants a big fight, and the matches with Canelo or GGG are easily makeable if they want it because all three are affiliated with broadcaster DAZN.
Alvarez was stripped by the WBC of his world title and given the designation as the organization’s first “franchise champion” last week. Andrade hoped that a potential fight with Alvarez would be for the undisputed title — all four major belts — but even with Alvarez no longer holding that organization’s world title, he wants the fight. It means prestige, legacy and his biggest payday by far.
“Forget the WBC s—. Whatever that ‘franchise’ belt is. Let’s go, Canelo,” Andrade said. “Let’s have one champion. It’s right here. Let’s do it. No more running, no more games. Let’s put it all on the line and see who is the best. Mano y mano. Viva Mexico!”