VERONA, N.Y. -- When Demetrius Andrade scored four knockdowns and stopped game Willie Nelson in the 12th round of a junior middleweight title elimination bout Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, it made him a mandatory challenger for newly crowned junior middleweight titleholder Jermell Charlo.
But because Charlo won a vacant belt on May 21, knocking out John Jackson, the WBC’s rule calls for him to make two mandatory defenses in a row. Charles Hatley is supposed to get the first shot at Charlo later this year, which means Andrade likely would not get his title shot until at least early next year, and perhaps not until next summer.
Andrade, who used to have a world title until he was stripped because of inactivity, wants another title badly. So Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions, which co-promotes Andrade with Star Boxing’s Joe DeGuardia, had an idea of how he might be able to get Andrade a shot right away rather than having to wait until Charlo faces Hatley.
Pelullo said he planned to talk to Showtime Sports general manager Stephen Espinoza, with whom he recently made a deal on a multi-fight contract for Ruslan Provodnikov, who lost a decision to John Molina in last week’s main event, about his idea.
“I’m going to ask Stephen if he is interested in doing a fight between Demetrius and (world titleholder) Erislandy Lara,” Pelullo told ESPN.com. “Lara and him would be a great fight and the winner of Lara and Andrade could then fight the winner of Charlo and Hatley in a unification fight, which would be even bigger than just Demetrius fighting Charlo for his title.
“Demetrius wants a title fight next and I want to get it for him, so this was my thought. Now I have to see if it’s something we can do.”
Lara headlined a Showtime card on May 21 and outpointed Vanes Martirosyan to retain his belt in a rematch. It was on the same card on which Charlo knocked out Jackson.
Andrade is rearing to go against a top opponent.
“I’m willing to step into the ring with whoever calls themselves the best so we can figure out who is the best 154 in the world,” he said. “Anyone who’s name starts with a ‘C’ and [ends] with an ‘O.’ That’s Charlo, Canelo (Alvarez), (Miguel) Cotto. I want them all and then Lara.”
Andrade said he planned to clean up the junior middleweight division and then move up to middleweight, where he will also go big game hunting.
“I’m coming for (Gennady Golovkin) too when the time comes,” Andrade said.