“Boo Boo” retained his WBO title, but what comes next?
Whatever your personal feelings and biases toward Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, the WBO middleweight titleholder likely confirmed them on Saturday night, when he routed Maciej Sulecki to retain his belt in a DAZN main event from Providence, Rhode Island.
Andrade (28-0, 17 KO) dropped Sulecki, a good contender, in the first round, then won every round thereafter, eventually settling into a sort of lazy, almost arrogant groove. If you find that impressive, and there are reasons to do so, then you found Andrade impressive on Saturday. If you generally think of Andrade as dull and lacking in thrills, his performance probably didn’t change your mind.
The 31-year-old Andrade now looks forward. What options does he have in his next outing?
At one point, there was talk of him fully unifying the 160-pound division against Alvarez, the biggest star on DAZN and arguably the biggest in the sport. Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KO), though, no longer technically has the WBC title, after the sanctioning body hilariously ruled that he’s now “franchise champion,” elevating Jermall Charlo from interim to full titleholder. This is a weird thing to consider; unlike the WBA’s long-established “super world” and “world” designations, no one’s really sure yet what to make of this. Will there be more “franchise champions,” or is this just the WBC again showing their favoritism toward an incredibly popular fighter? Will Deontay Wilder be made “franchise champion” at heavyweight?
So while you can still consider Canelo the real WBC middleweight champ, it’s a little grey at the least. But whatever, the point is it wouldn’t even be a true fight for “undisputed” anymore, because Charlo could quite easily dispute the claim. Add in that Andrade doesn’t have a big name and fights an often boring style, which could mesh horrendously with Alvarez and result in a really terrible fight, and Canelo vs Andrade probably doesn’t quite have the appeal it did even a few weeks ago.
There’s also the fact that Alvarez is reportedly pushing for a fight at 175 against WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev for his Sept. 14 date, which could have its own issues — Kovalev has been ordered to face Anthony Yarde, etc. And Sept. 14 might be too quick a turnaround for Andrade to take easily the biggest and hardest fight of his career, too. This just doesn’t seem likely, but it’s certainly far from impossible.
If not Canelo, maybe GGG? Golovkin, also with DAZN, is the second-biggest star in the middleweight division, and there’s a big gap from Golovkin to the rest of the field, too.
Now make no mistake, GGG wants to fight Canelo on Sept. 14, and that could still happen. But if Golovkin doesn’t get his wish, the easiest route to facing Alvarez perhaps next May could come by taking Andrade’s WBO belt.
It wouldn’t be any easy fight for Golovkin, who is 37 years old and certainly not quite the total destroyer he was at is peak. If nothing else, Andrade’s style and skills could give him some headaches.
But Golovkin would be easily the toughest matchup of Andrade’s career, too. It’d be a chance to see Andrade in against a world class fighter, one who’s aggressive and brings action, power, and his own set of skills. More than Canelo-Andrade, GGG-Andrade sounds like an actual interesting fight to watch.
If neither of those guys wind up being available for Andrade, then there is WBC titleholder Jermall Charlo. Charlo is a PBC fighter, but PBC and Matchroom/DAZN have proven willing to work together for the right matchups, and this could be the “right matchup” for both — if the fight gets into real discussion, it’ll be because neither fighter has much for a real option, and that could be the case. Charlo is on an island at 160 with PBC, and Andrade will want a bigger fight, one assumes, after facing Walter Kautondokwa, Artur Akavov, and Sulecki in his first three DAZN fights.
As for the WBO rankings, of the fighters Andrade hasn’t already beaten, there’s Steven Butler, Jeff Horn, Luke Keeler, Patrice Volny, Liam Williams, Sergiy Derevyanchenko (who is IBF mandatory), Marcelo Esteban Coceres, Artem Chebotarev, Obodai Sai, David Papot, and Janibek Alimkhanuly. None of them have any name value at all outside of Derevyanchenko, and he’s probably going to sit on that IBF mando.