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Demetrius Andrade deserves a meaningful fight

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

When Demetrius Andrade stopped Willie Nelson in the 12th round of an outstanding and one-sided performance in June on Showtime, it appeared like it was going to be the beginning of regular activity against meaningful opponents, especially since it was such a crowd-pleasing fight.

Andrade went to the press conference after the fight and called out all of the top guys in the division, which made sense given that just a couple of weeks earlier Showtime had featured a tripleheader of junior middleweight title fights involving Erislandy Lara and twin brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo, each of whom won their bouts.

Andrade hoped to finally get busy and get bigger fights after finally putting a long stretch of inactivity behind him caused by a pointless beef with his co-promoters, Artie Pelullo and Joe DeGuardia, which has since been worked out.

Andrade, who has made some terrible decisions in terms of handling his career, was inactive for so long -- 16 months -- that he was stripped of his 154-pound world title. But he appears to have learned from what he went through and is anxious to get busy again. He’s a talented fighter with an outgoing personality. At 28, Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs), who was a 2008 U.S. Olympian, is in his physical prime and he warrants a major fight.

But there have been none coming his way. A proposed mandatory shot at secondary titlist Jack Culcay in Germany this fall in a fight without any certainty of American television is not what he had in mind, and it is not a major fight.

But Andrade said he would take it if the sides could work out the details.

“I fought Culcay as an amateur in the 2007 world championships, so we have some history together in the ring,” Andrade said. “Although our teams haven’t been able to come to terms on a fight yet, beating Culcay for his title would increase the leverage I have in future fight negotiations. He is a current world champion who wants to fight me, so that certainly gets my attention.”

Of course, Andrade would love to tangle with Canelo Alvarez or Miguel Cotto, whom he also called out after the victory against Nelson, but those fights have as much chance of happening as Ali-Frazier IV. He’d likely be a favorite to beat both of them, which means the risk is not worth the reward for either.

Andrade went hard after Lara following the Nelson fight and still would welcome the opportunity to fight for his title -- the main belt to Culcay’s secondary one.

“Lara always tells people that he beat me in the amateurs,” Andrade said. “I lost to him in international competition when I was just 17 years old. In that fight, he ran around as usual. I thought I had really won that fight. Recently, Lara made claims that his team sent over a contract to fight me on two different occasions. For the record, my team never received an offer. Lara can post on social media the next time his team sends me a contract offer and I’ll be sure to review it with my team immediately.

“Ask anybody who has ever sent over a contract over to my team and they’ll tell you that we get back to people with a response very quickly. Lara and I both had success in the amateurs, and we have continued to have successful professional careers. If we fight soon, his WBA super title would be up for grabs, so now would be a good time for me to get him back from that robbery in the amateurs. Al [Haymon, Lara’s adviser] knows that I’m ready to fight Lara wherever and whenever, so all he has to do is call.”

Andrade said he also would be interested in a fight with welterweight titleholder Kell Brook, who gave a good account of himself in a knockout loss to Gennady Golovkin in a middleweight title fight last month and probably will settle in at junior middleweight when he returns.

“Brook showed lots of heart against GGG, and I think people would be interested to see how he’d do against someone with my skill set,” Andrade said. “I get a lot of positive messages on social media from the boxing fans in the U.K., and they let me know that Brook recently announced his plan to move to 154 pounds. [Promoter] Eddie Hearn is good at making fights that the fans want to see, and I think he would make a lot of people happy by allowing Brook to fight me without any hesitation.”

The Charlo brothers both face mandatory defenses, but Andrade would love a shot at either of them as well.

“Honestly, I have no problem fighting both Charlo brothers in the same night,” he said. “Besides their trainers and girlfriends, is there anyone in the world who really believes I’d lose to either one of those guys?”

There are probably not many junior middleweights Andrade would lose to, if any, and that, of course, is part of his problem getting meaningful fights.