AFTER two successful defences of his WBO middleweight title last year, Demetrius Andrade is aiming to retain his belt for a third time when he meets Luke Keeler in Miami at the Meridian at Island Gardens. Matchroom Boxing promote, while Sky Sports Arena/Main Event (UK) and DAZN (US) televise.
Providence’s Andrade, 28-0 (17), previously reigned as WBO king at super-welterweight, before moving up and claiming his current crown, which was vacant at the time. A comprehensive unanimous decision against the overmatched Walter Kautondokwa in October 2018 secured the strap for the Rhode Islander. Tough but outgunned challengers in Artur Akavov and Maciej Sulecki were then defeated by Andrade in 2019 – Akavov via 12th-round stoppage in January and Sulecki unanimously on points in June.
Keeler, 17-2-1 (5), is coming off a career-best win in August over Luis Arias. The Dubliner was the underdog going in but managed to triumph well on the scorecards. This victory, in conjunction with a pair of convincing unanimous verdicts over the game Conrad Cummings (April 2018 and March 2019), have led him to the number three spot in the WBO ratings. Nevertheless, he is a huge outsider against Andrade, which is understandable when you consider that he has two losses to Chris Eubank Jnr stoppage victim, Tom Doran, on his record – one in February 2015 (Prizefighter – ud 3) and one in April 2016 (rsf 2).
A 2007 World amateur champion and 2008 Olympian, the fleet-fisted and accurate Andrade, 31, is a skilful southpaw who doubles up on the jab and varies his attacks impressively. He has been knocked down in the past but generally possesses a strong defence. Keeler, 32, combines grit with guile and is happy to let his hands go, yet he can be tagged himself. In his first fight outside of Ireland or the UK, he is likely to succumb sometime in the second half.