Demetrius Andrade can’t seem to entice a marquee opponent — or anyone remotely close to that level — into the ring with him. And when he does fight these fringe contenders, the bouts often last the distance despite the obvious disparity in talent.
That has been the case in several of Andrade’s recent fights despite early knockdowns. But on Friday night in Manchester, New Hampshire, Andrade didn’t just drop Jason Quigley in the opening round; this time, he finished his opponent in fashion befitting the gap in skill level.
Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) scored one knockdown in Round 1 and two more in the following round en route to a second-round stoppage to retain his middleweight title. After the third knockdown of the fight, mostly the result of looping overhand rights, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. waved the bout off without a count.
With another massive underdog out of the way, Andrade, 33, will once again call for the best fights and hope that someone — anyone — near his level will accept the challenge.
“I did what I said I would do; I looked good and felt good,” said Andrade, ESPN’s No. 3 middleweight. “I delivered a message tonight — what’s next and who’s next?
“Every time I get in the ring, I do something different, and I can do it all, and whatever I need. … You asked for KOs and I give you KOs, so let’s go.”
Quigley (19-2, 14 KOs) landed just nine punches in the bout and was clearly out of his depth. A 30-year-old from Ireland, Quigley struggled to defeat Shane Mosley Jr. in his last outing, and when Andrade failed to land a meaningful bout, Quigley got the call.
Andrade, a southpaw, can box and move with the best of them, but the aggressiveness he showed against his overmatched foe Friday night can only help in his quest to land an elusive marquee fight.
The most obvious fights for him are unifications with Jermall Charlo or Gennady Golovkin. So far, neither boxer has shown any interest in boxing Andrade.
“I’m 31-0, Olympian and world champion, so what more do I need to do?” Andrade asked.
The answer isn’t clear.
Martinez-Arroyo bout ends in no-contest
Julio Cesar Martinez, ESPN’s No. 1 flyweight, traded first-round knockdowns with McWilliams Arroyo in one of 2021’s most thrilling rounds, but the bout didn’t deliver a winner.
A cut over Arroyo’s left eye was deemed the result of a clash of heads, and before Round 3 could begin, the fight was stopped and called a no-contest.
Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs) also dropped Arroyo in Round 2, and Arroyo was in trouble before he told the ringside doctor he couldn’t see.
Martinez, a 26-year-old Mexican, retained his 112-pound title.
Akhmadaliev dominates to retain 122-pound titles
Murodjon Akhmadaliev, ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 122 pounds, retained his unified championship with a unanimous-decision victory over Jose Velasquez.
All three judges scored the bout 119-109.
Akhmadaliev, a 27-year-old from Uzbekistan, was slated to meet Ronny Rios before the contender contracted COVID-19. Velasquez (29-7-2, 19KOs), a 32-year-old Chilean, accepted the fight on short notice and pushed the action, but he wasn’t on the champion’s level.
Next weekend, Stephen Fulton and Brandon Figueroa will unify 122-pound titles in a Showtime main event. A fight between the winner and Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7 KOs) would crown an undisputed junior featherweight champion.
Reis edges Camara, adds second title
Kali Reis, ESPN’s No. 2 female boxer at 140 pounds, picked up a second title with a split-decision win over Jessica Camara in an action-packed bout.
One judge scored the fight 96-94 for Camara, but the two other judges had it 97-93 in favor of Reis.
Reis (19-7-1, 5 KOs) has won six consecutive fights since a title-bout loss to Cecilia Braekhus in 2018.
Camara (8-3, 0 KOs) has lost two of her past three bouts.