Former two-time junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade will take on Walter Kautondokwa this Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The two will meet for the vacant WBO 160-pound title vacated by Billy Joe Saunders after he was unable to obtain a license to fight following a failed voluntary drug test.
Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) and Kautondokwa (17-0, 16 KOs) will headline a busy night of boxing with a full undercard. More on that later.
The headliner marks Andrade’s professional debut under the Matchroom Boxing USA banner after he signed with the promotional juggernaut in July. Andrade was originally slated to fight Saunders as his mandatory challenger until the now former champion tested positive for oxilofrine.
The Massachusetts Boxing Commission consequently denied Saunders’ license and the search was on for a late replacement. Enter #2 ranked Kautondokwa, who despite his lofty standing, is largely unknown throughout the boxing world having only fought in his native country of Namibia since turning pro five years ago.
Kautondokwa is a legitimate puncher though with a near perfect KO rate. However, his wins have all come against low caliber opponents making Andrade the toughest test that the 33-year old has faced.
Andrade has his own set of unique challenges. The Olympian’s decade long pro career has been largely stymied by inactivity. This will be his first fight of 2018 and he has only fought a paltry four times in the past four years. It gets worse considering that his best career wins were against fighters such as Vanes Martirosyan and Jack Culcay.
The promotional deal inked with Hearn and Matchroom should be a perfect pairing considering Andrade’s flawless record and unrealized potential. Hearn has made it clear that he wants to beef up his stable of American fighters and aggressively promote them which is good news for the southpaw.
In a way, this is a crossroads fight for relevance for both men although the stakes are considerably higher for Andrade. A loss would be devastating for his teetering career that has been resurrected by DAZN. In boxing it only takes one punch to change the entire course of a fight and Kautondokwa has the tools to get the job done.
Andrade is the younger man by 3 years and possesses that rare combination of size, skill, speed, experience and talent to offset any challenges that Kautondokwa might present. Ring rust could certainly be a factor for the American and team Kautondokwa will certainly look to take advantage of any noticeable slippage. Barring a knockout, I do not see many pathways to victory for the untested Kautondokwa. Demetrius Andrade should prevail over Walter Kautondokwa by wide unanimous decision.
Huge Undercard Bill in Boston
Boston also plays host to a staked undercard where two other world title bouts will be decided. WBA and IBF female lightweight world champion Katie Taylor (10-0, 5 KOs) will put her titles on the line against Argentina’s Cindy Serrano (27-5-3, 10 KOs). Taylor has become a major force since turning pro and could become the next face of women’s boxing. Her success has even caught the attention of pound-for-pound queen Cecilia Braekhus, who has expressed an interest in moving down in weight to face the former amateur standout and London 2012 gold medalist in a mega matchup. However, the 37-year old Braekhus is in the twilight of her brilliant career and has made it known that she will ‘not be around forever.’ First Taylor has to get past Serrano, a former world champion at 126 pounds who has not lost a fight since dropping a pair of decisions to Ann Sophie Mathis and Mikael Lauren in 2011-2012. Katie is on the A-side of this contest though and should be able to turn her experienced challenger back as she continues her impressive run.
Tevin Farmer (26-4-1, 5 KOs) will make the first defense of his IBF super featherweight title against James Tennyson (22-2, 18 KOs). Farmer is another signee doing a multi-year deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA. Farmer previously outclassed Billy Dib in a one-sided decision on the road in Australia to claim the vacant strap. Tennyson is a solid fighter on paper and a dangerous puncher but is more of a fringe contender at the world level. He came off the canvas to beat Martin Ward in shocking fashion back in May for the European and Commonwealth titles and has been on a good run as of late. Tevin will need to remain focused to keep his belt and to move on to the unification matches that he craves. A future super fight against division star Gervonta Davis could very well be in Farmer’s near future if he continues his winning ways. The Irishman has been stopped before and can be outmaneuvered. I suspect that Farmer will either cruise to a clear decision or stop the Belfast fighter late.
Sheffield’s fast-rising super bantamweight Kid Galahad (24-0, 15 Kos) will face Toka Kahn Clary (25-1, 17 Kos) in an IBF world featherweight title eliminator. Galahad won the 2014 Young Boxer of the Year award, presented by the Boxing Writers’ Club. Ironically, Kid Galahad is his ring name (real name: Abdul-Bari Awad) and was chosen after a character played by Elvis Presley in a 1962 film of the same name. Clary, a Liberian fighter now based in Rhode Island, was considered a strong prospect before suffering an upset knockout loss to Jhone Gemino in 2016. He bounced back nicely from that defeat, winning his last six fights. Last time out, he won a 10-round decision over Emmanuel Dominguez on June 2 in Atlantic City. This fight could be a virtual toss-up between two evenly matched opponents with outstanding amateur credentials. However, I favor Toka here given his toughness, relentless work rate and tricky southpaw stance.
The remaining card will include Fred Roach pupil Scott Quigg (34-2-2, 25 KOs), the American debut of exciting British boxer Tommy ‘Boom Boom’ Coyle (24-4, 12 KOs) as well as Kazakhstan’s Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov (3-0, 1 KOs) in just his fourth pro outing. Heralded Mark DeLuca (21-1, 13 KOs) will look to even the score against the slick Walter Wright (17-4, 8 KOs) in a rematch of their hotly contested June clash. Heavyweight Niall Kennedy (11-0-1, 7 KOs) and hot Irish prospect Sean McComb (3-0, 2 KOs) round out a very busy night of boxing at Boston’s iconic TD Garden.
You can catch all the live action on DAZN, with coverage beginning from 12am.