Andrade wins middleweight title

By Robert Ecksel on October 21, 2018
Andrade wins middleweight title
“He was getting stronger as the fight went on. I just kept doing what I had to do.” (DAZN)

Andrade’s promoter plucked the next man in the rankings, an unknown tough guy from the mean streets of Namibia, to take Saunders’ place…

Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts Demetrius Andrade (26-0, 16 KOs), the 30-year-old southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island, swept late substitute Walter Kautondokwa (17-1, 16 KOs), the knockout artist from Windhoek, Namibia, to win the vacant WBO middleweight title.

The final scores after 12 rounds were 119-105 and 120-104 twice.

Andrade dropped his opponent four times on his way to a lopsided unanimous decision and a title. It was a fine win for a fine fighter who will hopefully keep fighting and keep winning.

Saddled with management and promotional concerns, Andrade hadn’t fought in a year. A former junior middleweight champion who had his second fight at middleweight last night, getting someone credible to fight him has been a fight in itself. WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders, a superb boxer when he puts his mind to it, accepted Andrade’s challenge … before he failed a drug test, was denied a license to fight in Massachusetts, and vacated the title from which he was going to be stripped.

With less than a month to go and no B-side in sight, Andrade’s promoter plucked the next guy in the rankings, an unknown tough guy from the mean streets of Namibia, to take Saunders’ place.

But Andrade was preparing for a boxer-puncher, someone smooth, someone slick, someone mercurial, someone who knows enough about boxing to engage by disengaging an opponent’s game plan while tabulating various risks and rewards.

Kautondokwa had never fought outside Africa. There are no known names on his résumé. He’s a fighter. He doesn’t know from disengagement. He’s a fighter.

Andrade threw everything but the kitchen sink at the African. According to CompuBox, Andrade landed 152 of 501 total punches thrown (30%) to 45 of 325 (14%) for Kautondokwa.

“He kept coming forward, and he didn’t show any weakness,” said Andrade after the fight, “so I took my time and put my punches together. He was actually getting stronger as the fight went on, and I just kept doing what I had to do. Kept doing my business and smiling.”

There was much to smile about. Kautondokwa didn’t have a chance. But keeping him down was another story.

Andrade dropped him once in the third round and twice in the fourth.

“Walter’s a strong, tough guy, and he can hang in there with the best. We had to make adjustments. I used my boxing ability, and everything I was taught and worked on in the gym. He ain’t never been 12 rounds before, and I haven’t for a long time. I’m sailing a yacht, and we sunk him.”

When asked about his plans for the future, Andrade deferred to his promoter.

“I’m gonna sit down with Eddie Hearn and see what’s best for us,” he said. “I could have taken [a different] route and taken two easy tune-up fights, but I didn’t,” adding, “It’s great, baby. Three-time world champion. We made history.”

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