Demetrius Andrade didn’t waste any time dismissing the 168-pound elephant in the room Thursday afternoon.
The winner of his fight with David Benavidez obviously will strengthen his case to challenge Canelo Alvarez for super middleweight supremacy sometime in 2024. Andrade stressed during their press conference Thursday in Los Angeles, though, that he and Benavidez both have embraced one of the most difficult fights in their division, even if it doesn’t include the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 168-pound champion.
“F— Canelo,” Andrade said when asked by Showtime’s Brian Custer about the magnitude of his showdown with Benavidez. “This is bigger than that. This is way bigger than that. This is a real fight. We’re not sitting here waiting for him. I been telling people for a long time – we can’t be sitting back, waiting for Canelo, Canelo, Canelo. Nah. David Benavidez versus Demetrius Andrade is a great and a big fight, so let’s make this sh!t happen. I’m glad that they was able to say yes to this fight and we worked out all the [glitches] and knots, and we’re here today.”
The unbeaten Benavidez, 26, will defend his WBC interim super middleweight title against Andrade, a 35-year-old former junior middleweight and middleweight champion, in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event November 25. The 12-round battle between Phoenix’s Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) and Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Providence, Rhode Island, will headline a four-fight telecast from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
The left-handed Andrade has fought only once at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds. Benavidez has competed at or near the super middleweight maximum throughout his 10-year professional career, but he considers Andrade the best opponent he’ll have faced since he made his pro debut in August 2013, at the age of 16.
Benavidez has opened as a 4-1 favorite, according to FanDuel sportsbook.
“David Benavidez versus Demetrius Andrade, get them tickets,” Andrade said. “This is the best fight that can be made at 168 pounds. This is the best fight that can be made in the [super] middleweight division. This is the best fight that’s gonna be closing out this year, that’s gonna be [comparable] to all the fights this year, all the best fights that Showtime put on. This is the best fight, one of ‘em. And we’re gonna do our job to make sure it was the greatest night. November 25th, let’s get it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.