In what will be his third defence of his WBO Middleweight Championship, the undefeated Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade takes on Luke Keeler, a fighter who is taking his first step up to world level in what could be the defining bout of the Irishman’s career, whilst the Rhode Island titlist will see this fight as one more step towards a fight that could propel him into superstardom.
The fight comes six months after Andrade’s last defence of his belt, a convincing win over the very game Pole Maciej Sulecki in June of last year. One of Andrade’s nay-sayers’ main points of criticism is his level of opposition. The former Olympian is a very decorated fighter by anyone’s standards, a two-weight titlist, but he is still lacking a real marquee win that will open the door to a massive fight with the Middleweight Champion and who many see as the face of boxing, Canelo Alvarez. You could be forgiven for not believing a win over Luke Keeler will change anything.
In the other corner, hailing from Dublin, Ireland, is Luke Keeler, who sits on a four-fight winning streak, last beating Luis Arias. Arias, of course, becoming known to the boxing public by being soundly beaten by Danny Jacobs a couple of years ago. Keeler has only lost to one fighter, the talented Tom Doran, on two different occasions, but has visibly come a long way technically since those defeats. With an unimpressive resume and a number of disappointing results to look at, it’s hard not to believe this fight is a forgone conclusion, with Keeler of having odds of 12 to 1 just to get his hand raised, but what one must always remember is that anything can happen in boxing and the context of this fight could play a part. Andrade is already looking ahead, mentioning names of various fighters not named Luke Keeler, whilst the Irishman will have never trained harder for what many will see as his only real chance at world honours.
The bout sits atop of a jam-packed card in Miami as the Superbowl comes around at the weekend. In the co-main, notorious YouTuber Jake Paul takes on the lesser-known scrapper from Britain, Aneson Gib. Also on the card, the highly-anticipated fight between defensive specialist Tevin Farmer and entertaining challenger Joseph Diaz. Anthony Sims Jr. takes his first big step-up in competition and all-action champ Danny Roman defends against what is to many an unknown quantity in Murodjon Akhmadaliev. A card not to be missed by any boxing fan.