Demetrius Andrade's first middleweight title defense ended with his first stoppage victory in years.
Headlining his second straight Matchroom Boxing USA card on DAZN, Andrade defeated Artur Akavov after the referee stopped the bout with less than 30 seconds remaining in the fight. With the win, Andrade successfully retained his WBO middleweight title in his first victory inside the distance since June 2016.
Andrade dominated the most of the entire fight, working the body and outboxing the Russian challenger. Akavov had his moments where he landed big punches sporadically, starting in the third round when he rocked Andrade with an uppercut. Akavov also landed a three-punch combination late in the ninth round that hurt Andrade and nearly knocked him down.
In the final three rounds, Andrade turned up the intensity, causing Akavov to bleed profusely in the 10th round after sustaining a cut from a headbutt. Late in the 12th round, Andrade landed another flurry of punches and the referee stopped the title bout the moment Akavov stumbled in the ring. Akavov was angrily protesting the stoppage, believing that there was no reason for referee Arthur Mercante Jr. to put an end to the fight this late into the contest.
It was Akavov's second attempt at winning the WBO middleweight title. Akavov fought for the belt in 2016, losing a decision to then-champion Billy Joe Saunders. Andrade won the WBO title back in October when he defeated Walter Kautondokwa. After the fight, Andrade dismissed the idea of a potential fight against Saunders, electing to instead focus on a fight against former middleweight champion and current free agent Gennady Golovkin.