Andrade: ‘I’ve never watched a lot of fighters; I just concentrate on me’

Demetrius Andrade has laughed of Luke Keeler branding him ‘deluded’ as he prepares to defend his WBO World Middleweight title against the Irishman at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday January 30, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) puts his strap on the line for the third time having landed become a two-weight king having won the vacant title against Walter Kautondokwa in October 2018 in Boston and then seeing off Artur Akavov with a final round stoppage in New York in January 2019 and then thrilling his hometown of Providence, RI with a dominant points win over Maciej Sulecki.

‘Boo Boo’ has been hunting showdowns fellow champions and elite names like Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Jermall Charlo, but challenger Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs) labelled those ambitions as delusional and believes the 31 year old is making the mistake of looking past Thursday night’s fight.

Andrade told Keeler he was wide of the mark with those comments as the pair faced-off for the first time today in Miami, and the champion wants to prove his credentials at the top level

“Delusional? That’s a good one!” said Andrade. “I’ll give Luke credit where it’s due, it’s hard to get people to get in there with me and it’s his first World title fight, so I am expecting him to bring his A-game

“I’m bringing mine too as I know what it’s like. I’ve been to the Olympics and to me there’s no bigger platform, but this is a massive stage and no other fighter or network has done this, I’m going to give him the beating of his life. He’s said that he would fight me for free, I’d say that you should want to get paid because these shots don’t come easy! I’m just very excited to get things in motion and prepare myself to get in great shape.

“I’ve never watched a lot of fighters, I just concentrate on me. It’s all about me and doing what I need to do to beat anyone that’s put in front of me, and that’s get in shape, stay fast, work on my range and timing. Whatever is being brought to me, through my work ethic and preparation I am able to weather any storm, adjust, land the shots I need to land and relax, because I’ve been doing this for a very long time and there’s nothing I haven’t seen style-wise.

“I’ll never get too comfortable though and think ‘I’m better than you so I don’t have to train’ – every fight is a multi-million dollar fight because if I don’t perform and win, the opportunities go out the window. I don’t slack on one punch or one training session because of that.”

Andrade and Keeler clash on a huge night of action in Super Bowl week with Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defending his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs) and YouTube stars Jake Paul and AnEsonGib clashing on their pro debuts.

Super-Middleweight contender Anthony Sims Jr (20-0 18 KOs) fights for his first pro title against Roamer Alexis Angulo (25-1 22 KOs) and a host of young talents are in action in the form of Movladdin Biyarslanov (5-0 4 KOs), Austin Williams (4-0 3 KOs), Alexis Espino (4-0 3 KOs), Otha Jones III (4-0 1 KO) and Avril Mathie (4-0-1 2 KOs).

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Keeler: ‘He’s already talking about the Charlo fight, and that’s a dangerous mindset’

Luke Keeler has branded Demetrius Andrade ‘deluded’ and has predicted he’ll rip his WBO World Middleweight title away from him when they clash for the belt at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday January 30, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

 Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs) heads into his first World title fight full of confidence with impressive wins over Luis Arias and Conrad Cummings in 2019 and a blossoming relationship with trainer Pete Taylor, father of Irish star Katie Taylor.

The Irishman is confident he will be the first man to inflict defeat on the two-weight king Andrade (28-0 17 KOs), and believes that the Rhode Island ace is looking past him to blockbuster bouts and unification fights – and that lack of focus on the job at hand can play into the challenger’s hands in Miami.

“He’s really talking himself up,” said Keeler. “I don’t know if he believes it or he’s a bit deluded, but he hasn’t produced it in the ring yet. He hasn’t really fought anyone elite, I think he is going to overlook me and I think he is that deluded that he believes he’s one of the greatest and he just has to turn up to win. That’s going to count against him and I am taking that belt with both hands.

“He’s already talking about the Charlo fight, and that’s a dangerous mindset when I am coming in with my lottery ticket basically. I’m merely a hindrance to him. I don’t have a great record on paper; there’s a couple of losses on there that shouldn’t have been losses, so he can look past me.

“I think I am a banana skin to him, there’s no pressure on me, for me it’s easy. When you go in against guys you are expected to win it’s tough, this is easy mentally and it’s lifted me as I know it’s a life-changing chance for me. Win this fight and you are talking a contract with DAZN and massive pay days in huge fights.

“I want to win his World title and move on. Some of these guys go in and respecting him too much, fear him in there and I am going in there to rip it from him. He talks about being the best Middleweight out there, but he hasn’t proven it yet and I will prove him wrong on the night.”

Keeler and Andrade clash on a huge night of action in Super Bowl week with Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defending his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs) and YouTube stars Jake Paul and AnEsonGib clashing on their pro debuts.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Andrade on fighting top guys at 160: ‘They can’t avoid me forever’

Undefeated Middleweight star Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO World Middleweight Championship against contender Luke Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KOs) at Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday January 30, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

Also featured on the packed evening of boxing is Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defending his IBF world super featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs) and unified world super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs).

Andrade, 31, looks to successfully defend his piece of the middleweight title for the third time as massive unification fights loom in 2020. Following his homecoming debut in front of a packed crowd in Providence, Rhode Island, Andrade continues to stay active and take on all challengers following an impressive 2019. Standing in his way is Keeler, 32, of Dublin, Ireland. The former WBO European Middleweight Champion bested top contender Luis Arias in August, and will aim to make a statement in his U.S. debut against Andrade.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring again finally! It’s a great opportunity to show the world my talents and to be part of Super Bowl weekend in Miami is incredible,” said Andrade. “Miami is a beautiful city and I’m looking to once again showing that I’m the best 160-pound fighter in the world. It’s me again!

“There are major fights for me in the Middleweight division,” Andrade continued. “Those are the fights I want and I’ve been very vocal about it. At the end of the day, I just need to keep winning. They can’t avoid me forever. On January 30, we have to take care of business against Luke Keeler. He’s tough and he’s coming to fight, which will make for a great night of action for the fans in Miami and everyone else watching around the world on DAZN.”

“Demetrius is a great fighter and I understand I’ll be written off as a huge underdog but it’s exactly how I like it, there isn’t a drop of pressure on me,” said Keeler. “It feels surreal in a way but at the same time, I’ve always visualized it so in a way I expected this opportunity to come. Again, there is no pressure on me at all. I’ll have nerves like every fight but I’m going to enjoy every moment, bounce to the ring and pull off the upset.

“It’s a life changing fight and winning brings life-changing paydays but I would’ve taken this fight for free to be in the position that comes with winning,” stated Keeler. “It puts me right up there for fights with Gennadiy Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.”

In the chief support bout of the evening, a highly-anticipated grudge match will take center stage when Tevin Farmer puts his IBF world super featherweight title on the line against JoJo Diaz. The fight between Farmer and Diaz has been brewing for more than a year following multiple run-ins and trash talking between the two fighters. Farmer, 29, won his super featherweight strap in August 2018 against Billy Dib and successfully defended it four times in a nine-month span. Now, the slick southpaw will face Diaz, 27, also a southpaw, who will get his second chance at claiming a world championship after a decision loss to Gary Russell, Jr. in his first title opportunity in 2018.

On the undercard, 29-year-old unified World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman will meet undefeated Uzbekistan-native Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Roman, a Los Angeles native, unified titles when he captured the IBF World Super-Bantamweight title from TJ Doheny in front of his hometown crowd this past April in one of the most memorable fights of 2019. This fight will mark Roman’s fifth defense of the WBA title that he won in 2017. Akhmadaliev, 29, is Roman’s mandatory challenger and one of the most lauded prospects in the Super-Bantamweight division. Entering just his third year in the professional ranks and eyeing his first World Championship, the southpaw’s tremendous knockout power is expected to thoroughly test Roman’s slick boxing ability.

“Our goal all along was to have this fight in 2019, but injuries happen so we had to be cautious and wait a little longer than we wanted,” said Roman. “I’ve been back in the gym with no limitations and I can say I feel fresh and motivated to defend my title once again. This is the longest break I’ve had between fights in a long time so it’s only natural for me to be anxious to get back in the ring. Akhmadaliev presents a strong challenge and I know that I’ll be getting his best shot, but I’ve been down this road before and everyone knows my track record in world title fights.”

“I am very glad that Daniel Roman took this fight,” said Akhmadaliev. “I know that we are both warriors and this will be a real war! Don’t miss this fight!”

DAZN presents Miami Fight Night, brought to you by Matchroom Boxing USA will be held at Meridian at Island Gardens. Meridian is a 65,000 square-foot custom built multi-level premier live event and entertainment experience that will play host to additional VIP events. DAZN and Matchroom Boxing USA will kick off the big week at Meridian as the first of three nights of entertainment leading into Sunday.

Photo/courtesy: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA