PROVIDENCE — A middleweight boxing world champion was arrested Thursday after Providence police said they caught him driving with a handgun.
Police said that Demetrius Andrade, 30, who is ranked fifth in the world by Ring Magazine and seventh by ESPN, told officers that he carried the gun because of his fame and wealth. He holds the World Boxing Organization middleweight championship.
However, police said, Andrade didn’t have a permit to carry the Glock 19 pistol that an officer found in a Louis Vuitton bag inside Andrade’s Mercedes.
“There’s no excuse for carrying a gun without a permit,” said Providence Police detective Maj. David Lapatin. “Whether you claim you’re transporting large amounts of money, or your life is in danger, you can make your case to get a permit [to carry a concealed weapon]. But you cannot obtain a gun and carry it in the city of Providence without one.”
Two officers were driving on Coggeshall Street around 2:30 a.m. when they found Andrade stopped in his Mercedes, blocking traffic while talking to a friend in another Mercedes, according to police.
That led to questions from police, who reported that Andrade appeared nervous and kept glancing at a backpack on the floor of his Mercedes.
An officer opened the backpack and reported finding a small Louis Vuitton bag inside that contained a gun and magazine with 10 rounds.
Andrade was charged with one count of possession of a firearm without a license — a felony. He was arraigned Thursday in District Court and released on bail.
Andrade’s career rose as an amateur boxer. He was a National Golden Gloves champion in 2006 and 2007, the top amateur boxing competition in the country.
He was a silver medalist at the 2007 Pan-American Games and gold medalist at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships. He also competed in the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
Andrade made his pro debut a decade ago, going 26-0 with 18 knockouts. His last fight was Oct. 20 at TD Garden in Boston, in an unanimous 12-round decision over Walter Kautondokwa.