Former junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade does not have a belt currently because he was stripped for inactivity in 2015. He is also going to titleholder Jack Culcay’s home country of Germany to fight him on enemy territory on Saturday.
Yet, Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs), who already beat Culcay (22-1, 11 KOs) as an amateur, is the heavy favorite to relieve him of his secondary 154-pound belt when they meet at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
They met face-to-face at the final news conference on Wednesday and Andrade vowed to make good on his status as the favorite and do so in punishing fashion.
“On Saturday, you’re going to see the A-train at full speed steam rolling Jack Culcay,” said Andrade, a 29-year-old southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island and 2008 U.S. Olympian. “I beat him as an amateur, and now, I’m going to beat him as a pro. This ain’t going to be a three-rounder with training gloves on. I’m going to give Jack a reality check right on his chin.”
Culcay, a 31-year-old native of Ecuador who lives in Germany, held an interim belt but was elevated to a secondary titlist last year and will make his first defense against Andrade. He said it won’t be his last.
"I beat him as an amateur, and now, I'm going to beat him as a pro. This ain't going to be a three-rounder with training gloves on. I'm going to give Jack a reality check right on his chin." Demetrius Andrade
“I am ready for any kind of check Demetrius is going to give me,” Culcay said. “I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for almost 10 years now. After I beat Andrade, the doors are open for me to make a big splash in the U.S.”
The fight is in Germany because Team Sauerland, Culcay’s promoter, won the purse bid to gain promotional rights to the bout, which marks a rematch of Andrade’s victory over Culcay at the 2007 world amateur championships in Chicago. Andrade defeated Culcay on the way to a gold medal, though Culcay returned to the tournament and won gold in 2009, after Andrade had turned pro.
It is that loss combined with Andrade’s better resume and skill set that makes Andrade the favorite. Culcay, however, being an underdog serves as motivation for him.
“The odds for this fight just motivate me even more," Culcay said. “Maybe I'll go to the bookies and place a bet. That way I won’t only derail the ‘Andrade Express’ but also make some money.”
In the co-feature, 18-year-old Leon Bauer (10-0, 8 KOS), a top Germany super middleweight prospect, will face Soso Abuladze (10-1-1, 7 KOs), 20, of the Republic of Georgia just days after taking his high school exams.