Culcay-Andrade: Repeat or revenge?

Former junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade defeated Jack Culcay at the 2007 World Amateur Championships. Eric Gay/AP Images

Former junior middleweight titleholder Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade and secondary titleholder Jack Culcay met head-to-head, sort of, on Friday to kick off the promotion for their mandatory fight on March 11 at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

With Germany’s Culcay (22-1, 11 KOs) on site and Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs), of Providence, Rhode Island, attending by video link the topic quickly turned to their match at the 2007 World Amateur Championships in Chicago, which Andrade won on his way to a gold medal.

“Hey Jack, remember 2007,” Andrade said. “Back then we were just two young guys, greenhorns without much power, but I already made easy work of you. This time we’re grown men with punches that can hurt badly. You better get ready to be dominated again. ‘Boo Boo’ is going to make your world title disappear.”

Culcay, 31, who will be making his first defense since being elevated from an interim titlist -- Erislandy Lara is the so-called “super” titleholder -- eventually won a World Amateur Championships gold medal in 2009, the year after he and Andrade both competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Culcay said he believed that Andrade got a gift from the judges on that day in 2007.

“Last time we fought at the amateur world championships in Chicago the judges clearly favored the home fighter," Culcay said. “They gave him point after point when in reality it was a really close fight for the first two rounds. He beat me and won the gold that year, but now it’s my time for revenge. We will be fighting on a level playing ground in Germany and I will prove I am one of the best boxers at 154 pounds.”

Andrade, 28, is already widely considered one of the world’s best at 154 pounds, although he was stripped of his world title for inactivity in 2015. He has since won two fights, including an impressive display against Willie Nelson, whom he knocked out in the 12th round of a one-sided fight in June.

In Germany, the amateur fight between Culcay and Andrade is driving interest in their professional showdown, promoter Kalle Sauerland said.

“This is one of the most hotly anticipated fights to take place on German soil for many years,” Sauerland said. “It is an exciting match up. Both men have reached the pinnacle in amateur boxing and have won world championships as professionals. No doubt, their amateur history will add extra spice to the battle. March 11 is judgment day, and we will see if it is repeat or revenge.”