Who will take over the sport of boxing as the No. 1 draw once Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. has retired? There are tons of contenders, and WBO light middleweight champion Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade (20-0, 13 KO) is one of them.
On Saturday, Andrade will get his first opportunity to defend his title and to show what makes him special enough to be considered a potential heir to Mayweather's throne.
Andrade will face tough and experienced Brian "The Lion" Rose (25-1-1, 7 KO) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Rose is rugged and skilled, but not much is expected of him in this bout.
Rose discusses the advantages of being the man with no standard to live up to in this interview with IFL TV.
There's always a danger factor around an opponent who is fighting with nothing to lose. Here's how you can watch the action.
When: Saturday, June 14, at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
The Book on Andrade
Though he still has a ways to go in the ring and in the popularity department, Andrade is moving in the right direction. He's undefeated as a professional and already talking about taking on the pound-for-pound king.
Then again, who isn't? Boxing News 24 compared Andrade to the pound-for-pound king. They wrote: "Andrade has been described by some as a younger, taller (by 5 inches), southpaw version of Mayweather because of their similar styles and tremendous boxing skills."
In this interview with The Ring Digital, Andrade states he "is the one to beat Mayweather."
That sounds great, but in all practicality, Andrade is probably too far away from that type of fight. If Mayweather sticks to the terms of his Showtime contract and only fights three more times, chances are Andrade will not have risen up the ranks fast enough to be one of the three.
He'll need to look at plan B, which is becoming the man to carry the torch after Money is gone. That's a much more realistic goal. Andrade has the talent, but does he have the polarizing qualities that Mayweather possesses?
It takes a special person to be the most beloved/hated man in the arena and still perform at a world-class level. Mayweather has done this for well over a decade.
Andrade is just getting started. We'll see how it goes.
The Book on Rose
A tragic event after a win nearly ended Rose's career. After Rose stopped Jason Rushton in 2009, the latter collapsed on the way to the dressing room at Bolton Arena and had to be rushed to the hospital.
The post-fight events took a toll on Rose. Per Stuart Law of Fight Saga, Rose said:
It nearly ended my career if I'm honest. That fight was the first title I ever won so I went from winning my first title to, in the space of five minutes, seeing Jason collapse on the way to the dressing room. So it was mixed emotions, horrible. A couple of days later I went to see him in hospital and I think I went too soon because he had all his family around his bed and he couldn't feed himself properly. I ran out of the hospital in tears.
In Rose's next fight, he was beaten and stopped by Max Maxwell, and he believes he hadn't overcome the grief for his part in what happened to Rushton.
Rose saw a psychiatrist named Emma James, and he credits her with helping him overcome his mental impediments. Since the loss, he has reeled off 11 straight wins, including avenging the setback to Maxwell.
Rose has a nice story, but stories don't win fights. Without question, he'll be in the ring with the most talented opponent he's ever faced. Will the Lion roar or be baffled by Boo Boo?
There's no quit in Rose. He's tough, has a solid chin and is always in peak physical condition. However, the skill level and athleticism advantages are drastically in Andrade's favor.
The champion's speed and power are far and away better, and it'll lead to a pretty demonstrative step toward Boo Boo becoming a household name.
Andrade will retain his title with a mid-round TKO victory.
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