Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade return to the ring in dueling events this Saturday night on Showtime and DAZN. Both titleholders look to make a statement in order to get a bigger fight possibly in the near future in a bustling middleweight division. Maciej Sulecki and Brandon Adams would love to play spoilers to further shake things up at 160, not to mention increase their chances of a big payday. On the surface Sulecki seems to be less of an underdog than Adams so will start with the main event on DAZN.
The career trajectory of Demetrius Andrade is best described as hurry-up-and-wait. Issues with his representatives, along with questionable decisions has made for a mediocre career to this point. Andrade came out of the Olympics as a highly-touted prospect only to fall short of those lofty expectations to this point.
After 19 professional bouts, Andrade challenged for a vacant WBO junior middleweight strap versus Vanes Martirosyan. Demetrius got off to a rough start getting dropped in the opening round but managed to find his groove and win via split-decision. Unfortunately for Andrade, the newly crowned champion would fight just 3 times from 2014-2016. Demetrius did pick up a respectable victory over Willie Nelson putting him in line to challenge Jack Culcay for a WBA 154-pound belt. Andrade started quickly only to allow Culcay to climb back in the fight and even though Demetrius fought better down the stretch he was wobbled late.
In late 2018, Andrade was all set to take on his most difficult task in Billy Joe Saunders, but as faith would have it, BJ failed a drug test. In walks a sturdy battle-tested contender in Maciej Sulecki eager to pull off an upset. Sulecki’s coming out party as a pro happened back in 2016 by defeating then unbeaten Hugo Centeno Jr by 10th round TKO.
Three fights later a unanimous decision over Jack Culcay made Sulecki a mandatory challenger for Gennadiy Golovkin’s IBF belt. GGG decided to drop it which set up a quality matchup between Sulecki and Daniel Jacobs. Sulecki fought Jacobs tightly in a bout that was basically decided by a 12th round knockdown which secured the victory for Jacobs.
Both fighters have been active of late so we should be able to see each at their peak. Andrade will most likely win the early frames with a jab and movement on the outside. Speed will definitely be a factor as well so it may take Sulecki several rounds to catch up to Andrade. Neither of these two have overwhelming power but seem to have enough pop to keep opponents honest. Although Sulecki measures up in height at 6’1’, Andrade holds a 5-inch reach advantage. It would be silly for Andrade to engage with Sulecki in the middle of the ring for long stretches.
This podcaster assumes Demetrius will use distance and lateral movement until he gets comfortable enough to stand his ground. Andrade will win 8 or 9 rounds of this fight but it won’t come all that easy, especially if Sulecki can attack to the body. Not only would body punching slow Andrade down it could also open him up to power punches to the head. The outcome will be decided by how focused Andrade is throughout all 12-rounds. We’ve seen in the past Demetrius get bored and take his eye off the ball.
Much like Andrade fighting in front of his home crowd in Providence, Rhode Island, Jermall Charlo defends his now elevated WBC belt at the NRG Arena in Houston, Texas. It’s been 6 long years since either Charlo brother has fought in their hometown, so you can bet Jermall will be chomping at the bit to make a big splash.
His opponent is Brandon Adams a solid fighter who recently won The Contender reboot in 2018. Prior to the tournament, Adams had been inactive for nearly 3 years after suffering a loss to John Thompson due to management issues. Adam’s other defeat came in a Boxino tourney in the final season of Friday Night fights on ESPN2. Ievgen Khytrov may be the best win on Brandon’s career obviously that could all change with a win on Saturday.
Jermall Charlo has been in a state of limbo ever since he jumped up to the middleweight division after claiming a 154-pound WBC belt. Charlo fought Hugo Centeno Jr for a vacant WBC strap, knocking him out in the 2nd round. Last December, Charlo overcame his most difficult night as a professional, beating Matt Korobov in a very competitive 12-rounder. Matt Korobov’s skill and power proved to be a legitimate threat and it wasn’t until late in the fight that Charlo would badly hurt him. The combination of a late replacement opponent and his brother Jermell losing a controversial decision to Tony Harrison on the co-feature played a role in his lackluster performance.
Charlo has a hungry and rededicated Brandon Adams in front of him and from the sounds of it in recent interviews, Jermall is fully focused with the task at hand. Charlo was supposed to fight the winner of the rematch Canelo-Golovkin after receiving WBC mandatory status. Then the WBC ordered GGG and Charlo to fight with the winner to face Canelo. As of Wednesday, the World Boxing Council named Canelo Alvarez as their new ‘Franchise Champion’, basically installing their own version of a WBA super champ. Jermall can’t look ahead past Saturday if he does we could be watching a repeat of the Korobov fight.
Adams showed in The Contender series he likes to cut the distance doing his work on the inside. Against Charlo it will be interesting to see if he attempts that same physicality he brought to Erik Walker and Khytrov. Jermall’s style is to bring the fight to the opposition leaving him open defensively at times and that’s were Adams will need to make his punches count. The fight will be competitive relativity speaking and should be entertaining until the end.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Net. Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio