By Paul Mason
The DAZN bandwagon rolls into the TD Garden in Boston this Saturday night, but without it’s showpiece main event. The WBO Middleweight Title is still on the line, but its last holder, Billy Joe Saunders, is absent after failing to obtain a licence in Massachusetts following a failed drug test. His opponent, Demetrius Andrade, carries on regardless, and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, has managed to secure the Title to be on the line, with the replacement opponent being unbeaten Namibian banger, Walter Kautondokwa. Here I preview the fight.
Demetrius Andrade (25-0, KO16) v Walter Kautondokwa (17-0, KO16) – 12 Rounds, WBO Middleweight Title
It’s a massive disappointment that the scheduled Billy Joe Saunders v Demetrius Andrade match has gone up in smoke. Andrade attempts to become a two-weight World Champion in Boston this Saturday, and he faces a replacement, unknown quantity, in Namibian knockout artist, Walter Kautondowkwa. Providence, Rhode Island’s Andrade has long been avoided at Super Welterweight, and inactivity has played a big part of his career recently, with just five fights in nearly five years. He picked up the vacant WBO Super Welterweight Title in November 2013, beating the previously unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan via split decision. He walloped Blackpool’s Brian Rose to defeat in his first defence in Brooklyn, stopping the outgunned “Lion” in seven. He was then stripped of his Title due to a sixteen month period of inactivity. He returned with a low key win in October 2015, stopping Dario Pucheta in two rounds, and followed that up eight months later by stopping Willie Nelson in the twelfth and final round, having knocked him down four times during the contest. This set up a shot at the WBA Super Welterweight Title. Such was Andrade’s drawing power, he had to travel to Germany and beat Jack Culcay via split decision. His last fight, in October last year, saw a Middleweight debut, and he widely outscored the unbeaten but unheralded Alantez Fox. He arrives in Boston this weekend on the back of another lengthy layoff, but he will be eager to impress his new paymasters.
Hoping to upset the applecart at late notice, is mystery man Walter Kautondokwa. He is very much reminiscent of countryman Julius Indongo, who shocked Eduard Troyanovsky and then Ricky Burns in quick succession to lift Super Lightweight Titles. “The Executioner” has never fought outside of his native Namibia and has won every fight on his record by knockout since a four round points win on debut. He receives a shot at the World Title as the WBO Africa Champion, giving him a lofty ranking with the organisation. Little is known of Kautondokwa, and I can’t see him upsetting the odds against Andrade. His only hope is to catch “Boo Boo” cold in the opening rounds, as after that will be Andrade’s territory. I expect Andrade to seize control early, and ease to a wide points win.
Tevin Farmer(26-4-1, KO5) is a man in the form of his life. He expertly won the IBF Super Featherweight Title in August, by widely outpointing the Australian, Billy Dib, in his own backyard. He makes the first defence of the Title against a man also coming off a career-best win in Ireland’s James Tennyson (22-2, KO18). Tennyson won the European and Commonwealth Titles by stopping Martin J Ward at the O2 Arena, London in May. Even so, this shot at World honours comes as a slight surprise. Although he doesn’t carry knockout power, I expect Farmer to come on strong in the later rounds and stop Tennyson in around ten.
Katie Taylor (10-0, KO5) is again given a platform to show off her unbelievable skills, and she defends her WBA and IBF Lightweight Titles against Cindy Serrano (27-5-3, KO10).
There are appearances for British talent across the card, as Kid Galahad, Scott Quigg and Tommy Coyle all feature