Just days before he returns to his hometown crowd for his next WBO middleweight title defense, Demetrius Andrade reflects on returning to Providence, Rhode Island.
The Providence native is set to defend his world title against Maciej Sulecki on June 29 in the main event of a DAZN card at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Andrade, making his second middleweight title defense of 2019, said he is excited to go back home after fighting in many places around the U.S.
"Fighting at home is really exciting. In a way it’s more exciting for the fans in Providence as I've fought all over the world already. So, to give my hometown the chance to watch me display my skills, talent, work ethic is going to be great for them - they're going to see greatness from one of their own. I've got two full passports from traveling the world and it's a privilege to do that, to see the world and learn and gain experience, so to come home for such a big fight is great," Andrade said.
Andrade, as the last piece to the undisputed middleweight championship puzzle, has been on the ugly side of boxing politics with the tail end of his junior middleweight run being marred with inactivity due to promotional issues. Despite eventually becoming a free agent and signing with Matchroom Boxing and winning the WBO title, Andrade still has far less star power compared to unified champion Canelo Alvarez and former champion Gennadiy Golovkin.
"I'm an Olympian and a two-weight world champion, but that's not enough because there’s a lot of people that haven't seen my talent displayed in the mainstream like some other fighters, like Canelo Alvarez, as Golden Boy did a great job moving him and GGG had great promotion too, but they're not the greatest talents out there, they are just the most popular. I've got air in me now. Should I have been the guy like Canelo with the machine behind him? Yeah, I could've been that, but it didn't fall that way for me, but now I'm here," Andrade said.
Andrade vs. Sulecki headlines a card that also includes a WBA super flyweight bout between Kal Yafai and Norbelto Jimenez. The card will also feature the return of former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker as he takes on Alex Leapai.