Vikram Birring breaks down Jan.18 title fight
In what appears to be a stay busy fight, Demetrius Andrade faces Artur Akavov on January 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Andrade is coming off an impressive destruction of undefeated Walter Kautondokwa, and one would think his next fight would have been a bigger name.
Instead, it looks like none of those names were willing and/or available, so instead he faces a rugged Cossack who made Billy Joe Saunders look really bad in their bout. Saunders stated afterwards he wasn’t really motivated or prepared, but now Akavov has the chance to prove that it was not a fluke and he was the reason Saunders had difficulty.
Since the Saunders bout, Akavov has pulled off three consecutive victories in Latvia, Estonia, and Phoenix, Arizona against decent opposition. Andrade meanwhile has been rehabilitating his left shoulder that he says was injured in his previous bout. He was also arrested for carrying an unlicensed gun, a felony charge in his home state of Rhode Island. This doesn’t seem to have interrupted his training camp, though.
In the end, it’s good to see Andrade return so soon after his last bout, a trend that would be nice to see from more top boxers. Akavov will give him a test and answer questions about both of them. An Andrade victory will keep his career moving along while a draw or defeat will stop it in its tracks.
For Akavov, this is another shot at the limelight after a somewhat controversial decision against Saunders, who went on to embarrass David Lemieux afterwards. After his recent drug test bust, Akavov must wonder if he was facing a cheater, which would enhance his performance in hindsight.
The fight is on a Friday, non-traditional for major boxing, which may hurt ticket sales, as there would be a reliance of walkup and local sales, which wouldn’t help Andrade, who isn’t from New York city. The assumption is most of the fans in attendance will be those of local boy Chris Algieri’s, who is on the undercard and has a loyal following. Jarrell Miller also resides in New York, though without such a fanbase, but a few fans may come to see him as well.
Really, the Andrade bout as well as the Jorge Linares undercard bouts are a bonus for those local fans, as New York is a trek from Providence on a weekday.
In the end, this is a card for hardcore boxing fans, and for the most part, those expected to win should win and progress their careers. But as they say, anything can happen in boxing.