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Andrade’s second, first real test

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By Alec Kohut


This time last year I wrote in my 2012 Eastern Regional Preview that I was jumping off the Demetrius Andrade bandwagon, just as it seemed much of the national boxing press was jumping on. Since then nothing has changed my mind as Andrade steps into the ring tonight for his second, first real test as pro.

 

This time Andrade’s test comes in the form of Freddy Hernandez. On paper this doesn’t look like a bad step-up for the 18-0 former US Olympian. Hernandez put in solid rounds against both Luis Collazo and Erislandy Lara, but was also dismantled in just two minutes by Andre Berto. So the real question for this writer, is how does a former Olympian need four and half years just to get to the level of fighting a Freddy Hernandez?

 

And, why after his first real test against Grady Brewer in August 2011 did Andrade have to scale back his competition for four fights to almost embarrassing levels?  Andrade jabbed and ran his way to his lopsided victory over Brewer, in which the only thing clear was Andrade’s firm resolve not to get hit, at all. Following the win, his team stooped so low as to fight a man whose own promoter protested fight citing health dangers to their fighter because he was so washed up.


Ever more disgusting was the ring celebration of Team Andrade after easily dominating the washed up Angel Hernandez.

 

In addition to this being Andrade’s latest biggest test as pro, it also marks his first appearance under trainer Virgil Hunter. It’s interesting that in just 18 professional fights, this is the third change of trainer for Andrade. In 2010, David Keefe took over as lead trainer from Andrade’s father. It didn’t take long for father Paul to return, and Keefe squeezed out. And now two years later, enter Virgil Hunter. That is hardly a sign that all is well in a fighters development.

 

So another question arises, is this latest trainer change part of Andrade’s development, or marketing?

 

Despite whatever questions there are about his development as a fighter, there are no questions concerning his marketing. Already the upstanding and honorable sanctioning bodies have fallen in line with the boxing powers and awarded Andrade high rankings. The WBC currently lists him at #8, while both the IBF and WBO ridiculously have him ranked as their #3 contender.

 

So don’t be surprised if Andrade gets a title shot in the hear future without having faced anything close to a top ten contender.

 

How good is their marketing? Just today I read article cautioning against judging Andrade too harshly for his lousy opposition, comparing his development to that of Andre Ward. So now Andrade is the next Andre Ward. That’s good marketing.

 

 

 

Looking at Andrade’s career, one thing becomes crystal clear, there are far more questions than answers. If Andrade merely jabs and dances his way to a decision victory, avoiding all contact in the process as he did against Brewer, few, if any questions will be answered. On the other hand if he can demonstrate at least some of the power he has shown against lesser foes, while taking a few shots in return, one would have to conclude his development is on track.

 

But let’s not get ahead ourselves, Demetrius Andrade is not the next Andre Ward. The next Jean Pascal, perhaps.



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