Allan Cerf writes about the WBO middleweight title fight between Demetrius Andrade and Maciej Sulecki
Particulars: Saturday, June 29, 2019, from Dunkin Doughnuts Center, Providence Road Island and DAZN, it’s Demetrius “Boo-Boo” Andrade vs. Maciej Sulecki, middleweights.
Background: I see this as a stay busy fight for Demetrius Andrade. Andrade is a guy either cursed with inept management – or temporarily locked out of the big stage. Why you ask? Is it that he’s too good for the likes of GGG and Alvarez? Boxing is supposed to bring clarity. HA! If the current middleweight picture was a plasma TV, you’d demand your money back.
Both Andrade and opponent Sulecki have extended amateur careers, with Andrade’s far more glittering; indeed a controversial loss may have cost him Olympic gold. Sulecki’s achievements as an amateur, while fairly extended, are not especially distinguished. Big edge – Andrade.
Fighter’s Grades: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)
Demetrius Andrade: B B B B C+ B B (Average of all) B- (2.9)
Maciej Sulecki: B C C+ C C+ B- B- (Average of all) C+ (2.5)
Reality Check: Andrade, who stands 6’1,” is reported to have just 73 inch wings, but I’m certain his reach is longer. Based on his brief ads on You Tube, touting his favorite (legitimate) workout supplement, Andrade is also a world-class athlete. Anyway, he is a southpaw who throws incredibly straight punches. He’s one of these timing dudes; fast hands, but he throws (max) five punch combinations based on rhythm. He’s not Joe Calzaghe, who used to set up and fire 20 shots in the blink of an eye, and damn the worries about getting caught by an opponent who punches with you. Nope, Andrade fights like Regis Prograis, who I interviewed recently, based on rhythm. After throwing punches, he steps to the side to avoids return fire (or grabs) and then is ready for another quick salvo. He doesn’t have tremendous power and sports only a ‘good’ KO percentage. He’s a sprinter in his ads and it shows in his excellent footwork.
The problem for Andrade is the future is not just ‘now.’ It was yesterday, two months… two or more years ago. He’s 31, and maybe through no fault of his own, has yet to fight one of the big guns at 160. The worst thing his team can do – though they’re not listening, is fight infrequently, worrying that a loss or injury can keep him from the big dance. DUDE! The big dance may never come unless you fight enough to make a case for it. Particularly as Andrade feels, with some justification, other middleweights are avoiding him to some degree or another. Fighting frequently can be risky. A boxer could get injured. However, as has been proven countless times going back to the bare knuckle era, staying active is the surest way to stay safe and sharp.
Maciej Sulecki of Poland has a tough job from the off. Andrade - whatever his true reach may be, is far longer. Sulecki’s reach is only 68.” I actually quite like the way Maciej fights. At least in his performances that I’ve seen, he makes for exciting boxing. Too bad he has defensive deficiencies. And mainly, in my view, needless ones, in particular occasional lapses in attention. Why that wasn’t caught early in Warsaw, I can’t say. If his defense was on par with his offensive fundamentals, it’s just possible he might have challenged for a title. I particularly appreciate his right/left hand coordination.
Fight and Prediction: Andrade’s just too tall, too long and a bit too good for the Pole. Andrade KO Sulecki 8.
Final flurries: I find the news that Pacquiao-Thurman will not be a VADA fight unbelievably nauseating. Pacquiao’s sudden ripped physique and the swift shifting of the odds, making Thurman, overnight, a much smaller favorite, is horrific. Those with narratives claim odds have shifted as people realize that Pacquiao is the “only eight division champion…” Horse crap! In baseball, “exemptions for medication” mean a home run travels two inches further. In our sport, it means someone will eventually be killed. This is an outrage of the highest order and the blackest of black eyes for our sport.
Rumors abound that the Curse of Kenny has been lifted and that Brian Kenny may, or has been relieved of duties at DAZN. While I’ve nothing against the man, it’s fair to say that if a fight goes 12 rounds Kenny has twelve different narratives to explain what fans could decide better for themselves.