WBO Middleweight world champion Demetrius Andrade scored a twelve round unanimous decision over WBO number one Middleweight contender Liam Williams on Saturday afternoon at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. The difference in speed between the fighters was immediately apparent as the champion started fast landing combinations on a pressuring Williams. A short three-punch combination to the head wobbled the challenger in the first round, but Williams was able to stay on his feet.
This would change in round two when Andrade knocked Williams down with a perfectly timed one-two combination to the head. Despite looking badly hurt and under circumstances where he might have been on the verge of being stopped, Williams survived.
Despite being at a disadvantage in terms of hand speed, Williams was able to gradually close the distance as the fight progressed and had more than occasional success landing punches on Andrade, who is regarded as one of the most elusive fighters in the entire sport. A testament to Williams’ success in making this a rough fight continued to show in the middle and late rounds including landing a hard right hand that stunned Andrade in the late rounds.
Although Williams was able to make up ground, Andrade’s ability to generally get his punches off first as well as the knockdown and the early lead he was able to build ultimately led to Andrade scoring a unanimous decision to retain his WBO Middleweight world championship. Demetrius Andrade advances to 30-0, with 18 Knockouts. Liam Williams falls to 23-3-1, with 18 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Undefeated IBO Super-Middleweight world champion Carlos Gongora scored an eighth round knockout over Christopher Pearson. In what was his first title defense of the world championship he won at the same Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in December of last year, Gongora did not face much resistance in a largely uneventful bout. The end came when the champion landed a short left hook from the southpaw stance that landed flush on the right eye of Pearson that sent him down. Although Pearson initially beat the count and got up from the knockdown , he was clearly bothered by the blow to his eye and kneeled back down and took the remainder of the ten count. Official time of the stoppage was 2:17 of round eight. Carlos Gongora advances to 20-0, with 15 Knockouts. Christopher Pearson falls to 17-3, with 12 Knockouts.
Also in the Super-Middleweight division, Alexis Espino scored a dominant six round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Ty McLeod. Espino used his hand speed and combination punching to dictate the combat from the outset and appeared at times that he might have gotten a stoppage, but McLeod was able to hang in there till the final bell. Official scores were 60-54, and 59-55 (On two scorecards) for Espino. Alexis Espino advances to 8-0 with 5 Knockouts. Ty McLeod falls to 6-1, with 6 Knockouts.
Heavyweight Andrey Fedosov scored a first round knockout over previously undefeated Mahammadrasul Majidov. Fedosov connected with an overhand right to the head that sent Majidov down. Majidov appeared to suffer a broken right ankle during the knockdown, but attempted to continue before going down a second time and taking the full ten count. Majidov was taken from the ring on a stretcher. There is no word as of this writing as to the severity of the break of Majidov’s ankle. Official time was 1:24 of round one. Andrey Fedosov advances to 32-3, with 26 Knockouts. Mahammadrasul Majidov falls to 3-1, with 3 Knockouts.
In a battle of undefeated Jr.Welterweights Movladdin Biyarslanov scored an eight round majority decision over previously unbeaten Israel Mercado. A very competitive bout that saw several shifts in momentum, Biyarslanov’s effectiveness in the early rounds proved to be the difference as he earned the nod from two of three official judges to score the victory. Official scores were: 76-76, (Even) and 78-74, 77-75 in favor of Biyarslanov. Movladdin Biyarslanov advances to 8-0, with 6 Knockouts. Israel Mercado falls to 9-1, with 7 Knockouts.
Lightweight Jorge Castaneda scored an eight round majority decision over Otha Jones. Official scores were: 76-76, (Even) and 76-75, 77-75 in favor of Castaneda. Jorge Castaneda advances to 14-1, with 11 Knockouts. Otha Jones falls to 5-1-1, with 2 Knockouts.
In a Jr. Welterweight bout, undefeated Aaron Aponte
scored a four round unanimous decision over Javier Martinez. Official scores were 40-36 (On all three scorecards for Aponte. Aaron Aponte advances to 3-0, with 1 Knockout. Javier Martinez falls to 4-8, with 3 Knockouts.
Demetrius Andrade has been cast in the role of the odd world champion out in the Middleweight division as despite being an unbeaten two-division world champion, he has struggled to secure lucrative opportunities against the other marquee attractions in and around the 160lb. Middleweight division. This can be attributed to both his overall skillset as well as not having a Boxing style that is universally appealing. Andrade’s title defense against Liam Williams was the first time that he was not allowed to coast his way to either a stoppage or a shut out decision.
While a win is still a win and Andrade did indeed do what he needed to do to retain his portion of the World Middleweight championship, the fact that he was hit more than occasionally and was given a difficult fight by w determined challenger might give the other world champions in the Middleweight division and perhaps even current WBC/WBA Super-Middleweight world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez the evidence that fighting Andrade is a viable option. Quite frankly, Andrade is long overdue for a lucrative payday that a fighter of his skillset and accomplishments has earned. It remains to be seen whether the politics of the sport will allow him to get the opportunity he deserves.
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