By Thomas Lyons (Wraps On TV)
The launch of Matchroom USA has made a stellar signing in Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) as part of their multi-million fight deal with DAZN which will be instrumental in streaming 16 jam-packed world championship cards across the shores in the US.
Since Andrade moved up to middleweight, targeting a fight with current WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders as his next mandatory challenger, the hard-hitting Rhode Island southpaw has sealed the biggest deal of his professional career with marquee promoter Eddie Hearn and the growing Matchroom USA project.
Andrade, who held the WBO version of the super-welterweight division, decided to move up to 160lbs to challenge the crop of champions at the weight, chase all-American clashes with the likes of Danny Jacobs and achieve his goal of becoming a two-weight division king.
The 30-year-old defeated Vanes Martirosyan (a mutual opponent of unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin) back in November 2013 and five years on will be campaigning in the stacked division which includes Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez who awaits his rematch with the ‘Kazakh Thunder’.’
Hearn was reluctant to reveal who he’d signed until the official announcement today in correspondence with Anthony Joshua’s sixth consecutive defence of his four heavyweight championship belts against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, also to be streamed on the DAZN platform. The British promoter has been talking to numerous former world champions and current world champions who had not been tied up with a promotional contract.
Those include the charismatic Charlo twins, Jermell (who operates at Andrade’s previous weight, 154lbs) and Jermall who is active at middleweight as well as Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis who parted ways with Hall of Fame fighter Floyd Mayweather. This calibre of signing could really ignite Matchroom USA as the leading player in the US boxing market and boost their profile and reputability for those fighters coming to the end of their commitments with certain rival promoters.
Andrade is just the latest addition to the Matchroom stable which now includes another three top names with Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker, the newly crowned WBO super-lightweight champion, 147lb contender Jessie Vargas who was narrowly defeated by eleven-time, eight division world champion Manny Pacquaio following his win on the weekend, stopping Lucas Matthysse and the exciting but inactive Artur Beterbiev who is due to fight the British Light-Heavyweight champion Callum Johnson on one of the first shows brought live to the US.
As Matchroom USA continues to expand and reach new heights, whether they can execute this deal with DAZN and ensure that their fighters are kept active remains to be seen but they have definitely got off to a flying start to say the least.
With the main attraction surrounding Anthony Joshua’s link up with the successful streaming platform who have shot up the ladder in territories such as Japan, Germany and Sweden, Jarrell Miller has also made his move to Matchroom USA to line up a potential fight in the future with AJ which could be his debut over there if the Wilder rematch, depending on the contractual agreements, isn’t made for the return fight in America later next year.