Andrade: My Hat Goes Off To Canelo; Went To That Weak Division, Got Those Guys To Fight Him And Make History

Demetrius Andrade has spent the past several years pursuing a lucrative showdown with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Now all he can do is wish the pound-for-pound superstar well and congratulate him—sort of—on his continued success following Alvarez’s latest win to become the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion.

“My hat goes off to Canelo,” Andrade told, while otherwise discussing his WBO middleweight title defense versus Ireland’s Jason Quigley. “The incredible part is that he has that mindset to go out there and accomplish his goals. He went to that weak [super middleweight] division where nobody didn’t fight anybody else. He got all those guys to step up and fight him, make history and capture that goal. It’s something we all want to do.”

Andrade (30-0, 18KOs) hoped to accomplish that goal while holding the last remaining middleweight title after Alvarez (57-1-2, 39KOs) unified the WBA/WBC/IBF titles following wins over Gennadiy Golovkin (September 2018) and Danny Jacobs (May 2019). Both were regularly fighting on DAZN at the time, with Andrade calling for a fight with Alvarez shortly after his June 2019 shutout win over Maciej Sulecki in his Providence hometown.

The call fell on deaf ears, with Alvarez abandoning the middleweight division to instead move up to light heavyweight where he knocked out Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round to win the WBO light heavyweight title in November 2019.

Alvarez has since won four in a row at super middleweight, defeating unbeaten titlists Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant to fully unify the division. It’s the first time in the three- or four-belt era that the super middleweight division has boasted an undisputed champion, with Alvarez also becoming the first boxer from Latin America to enjoy such status at any weight.

The win over Saunders, an eighth-round knockout took place this past May at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Andrade made headlines for all the wrong reasons, crashing the post-fight press conference which led to Alvarez’s profanity-filled response to the two-division titlist which quickly made the rounds. Alvarez accused Andrade of being a horrible, boring fighter simply chasing after a payday before demanding—through the use of several F-bombs—to leave the press conference so that the Mexican icon could enjoy his moment.

For reasons other than that request, Andrade has made the decision to focus on what’s in his control while allowing Alvarez to collect his roses. The quest to become the face of the middleweight divisions continues—or begins, depending on the viewpoint—this Friday, when Andrade faces Quigley (19-1, 14KOs) atop a four-title fight card live on DAZN from SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

By year’s end, a fight between Golovkin (41-1-1, 36KOs) and Ryota Murata will leave the winner as the unified IBF/WBA middleweight titlist, while Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22KOs) still holds the WBC middleweight title. With any luck, the reigning champs will get together to create the division’s third-ever undisputed champion, following Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor nearly two decades prior.

Perhaps it still won’t be enough to entice an elite level talent like Alvarez. At least he can take pride in knowing he’s done everything possible to land these fights as he moves on to concentrate on the things within his control.

“I’m just excited to get back in the ring and let these hands fly,” notes Andrade. “Every fight is important to show that I’m the best middleweight in the world. I’m focused on my own career, first and foremost.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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