The next stateside DAZN show is now without its scheduled chief support.
Unbeaten two-division and reigning middleweight titlist Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade is left without an opponent for a planned non-title fight, after Dusty Hernandez-Harrison was forced off the card due to having tested positive for COVID-19.
The bout was to have served in supporting capacity on the November 27 DAZN show live from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The rest of the card will move forward, headlined by a super middleweight bout between former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs (36-3, 30KOs) and veteran trialhorse Gabriel Rosado (25-12-1, 14KOs).
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix was the first to report the development.
Providence’s Andrade (29-0, 18KOs) was placed on the show in stay-busy capacity, as his middleweight title was not on the line for a planned clash with Washington D.C.’s Hernandez-Harrison (34-0-1, 20KOs). The plan was for Andrade—a 2008 U.S. Olympian who has won titles at junior middleweight and middleweight—to get in a second fight in 2020 before moving on to bigger challenges in 2021.
Instead, the 32-year old southpaw will have to sit out the rest of the year in order to keep the rest of the timeline intact. Andrade has been out since a 9th round knockout of Ireland’s Luke Keeler in a mandatory title fight this past January in a makeshift stadium in Miami, Florida.
Since then, he has inherited another mandatory challenger in Liam Williams (23-2-1, 18KOs), a streaking middleweight knockout artist from Clydach Vale, Wales. The 28-year old contender is currently riding a seven-fight win streak—all by stoppage—since a pair of losses to Liam Smith in 2017. Included among the lot was a 5th round stoppage of Alantez Fox last December, with Williams elevated to mandatory challenger just more than a month later.
Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn, Andrade’s promoter informed BoxingScene.com that the plan is for Andrade to return hopefully by February. The date will come either versus Williams or in a challenge of England’s super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14KOs) who next defends versus countryman Martin Murray on December 4 at Wembley’s SSE Arena in London.
Andrade and Saunders were due to collide in October 2018 in Boston, only for Saunders—who held a middleweight title at the time—forced off the show after testing positive for a banned substance. The title was declared vacant, which Andrade won in a 12-round landslide decision over unbeaten late replacement Walter Kautondokwa.
Three title defenses have followed for Andrade—a 12th round stoppage of Artur Akavov last January, followed by a 12-round shutout of Maciej Sulecki last June in his Providence hometown before taking care of Keeler earlier this year.
As for the show’s headliner, Jacobs and Rosado both return for the first time since appearing on the same show last December in Phoenix. They came dangerously close to fighting both outside of and in the ring on that night, though the matter was limited to pre-fight trash talk. Rosado was on standby in the event that training stablemate Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was unable to make it to fight night for a variety of reasons.
Chavez Jr. survived a potential drug suspension and blowing weight to still go through with the fight, which Jacobs won by stoppage after five rounds in the main event at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. The manner in which Chavez Jr. bowed out left fans in disgust, dousing the ring with debris to the point of event staff clearing out the facility. The development left Rosado to fight in front of an empty arena, scoring a 10-round decision over Humberto Gutierrez.
In a weird sense, the situation helped Rosado prepare for what will come next Friday as the show will take place without fans in attendance. It also settles a year-long feud with Jacobs, which reached a fever pitch when the two had to be separated after exchanging harsh words in the assigned fight hotel during fight week last December.
Jacobs’ win over Chavez Jr. began his voyage in pursuit of a super middleweight title following a points loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their three-belt middleweight title unification clash last May in Las Vegas.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox