Andrade reflects on Olympic loss, pro win

By Kirk Lang


Andrade reflects on Olympic loss, pro win

Demetrius Andrade, a 2007 amateur world champion who was favored to win Olympic gold medal but returned without any hardware, is not letting what happened to him over the summer totally destroy his dream. “I didn’t get a gold medal but I’m going to get gold belts,” he said Saturday night after registering a fourth-round TKO of Eric Marriott at the Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, RI, a few miles from Andrade’s hometown of Providence.

Andrade’s run at Olympic gold ended after a controversial 11-9 loss in the quarterfinals to Kim Jung Joo of Korea. While there were many critics of the scoring system - whereby three of five judges (button pushers) have to register punches landed within one second of one another - Paul Andrade, Demetrius’ father/trainer, likes to say it’s not the scoring system that’s the problem but rather, the people who are occupying the seats around the ring and are supposed to give credit for scoring blows.
Andrade had dreamed of being a gold medalist. You could pop in a DVD of his Olympic “loss” and see who the real winner was. That’s what hurt Andrade more than anything. That’s what brought him to tears, the fact that he was the better man yet was not rewarded for it. However, the Olympics are now in Andrade’s rear view mirror. He’s moved on. He’s growing up. Last month was the first time Andrade could cast his vote in a Presidential election and in two months he’ll be able to drink legally. Hopefully he won’t.

His fans chanted his childhood nickname, “Boo Boo,” during Saturday’s fight, but when it was over, he told the assembled media he would like to be called “The Godfather,” or maybe “The Godfather of Boxing.”

The nickname might not be so accurate because Godfathers in the mafia order hits, they don't do it personally. On Saturday night however, Andrade did the dirty work all by himself. His jab was snake-like. His right hook, used less frequently than the straight left, often caught Marriott off-guard. Hard straight lefts to the body, after a couple of rounds, had the winless Marriott trying to maneuver his body away from the most used power punch of the night. Marriott, who also took a lot of good shots to the head, looked like he might extend Andrade the four-round distance. He didn’t.

Early in the fourth frame, Andrade connected with a right hook that made Marriott backpedal a few steps. Andrade pursued him, launched a straight left hand - with Marriott against the ropes - and then proceeded to throw punches in combination until referee Joey Lupino waved the fight off at the 50 second mark. Andrade said he probably could have ended matters in the first round. “But why? I needed the work,” he said. “This was my second pro fight so I need more work, more rounds and more experience before I actually start calling out people’s names.”

Also, this was Andrade’s first pro fight not only near his hometown but also on the east coast. His pro debut in October had him on the other side of the country, in Airway Heights, Washington.
 “I wanted to put on a show. Everybody’s been waiting for me to fight,” said Andrade. “They don’t want to see me fight for one round so basically I just worked my skills and I gave the people what they wanted.”

Andrade has high expectations for himself and as such, wants to have a legitimate world title around his waist within two years. Star Boxing’s Joe DeGuardia, who co-promotes Andrade along with Art Pelullo of Banner Promotions, believes Andrade can accomplish a lot. “He’s the cream of the crop,” said DeGuardia. “He’s the best one to come out of the amateurs, I think, in years, since uh, you think about ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya, Demetrius Andrade [is right there with them].”

Andrade advanced to 2-0 with 2 knockouts Saturday night. He gave the 0-2 Marriott credit for being tough.  “He was probably figuring he was stronger than me, but mentally, he didn’t have it there, so I kept breaking him down, breaking him down, until I broke him,” said Andrade. “My whole game plan is to let somebody know mentally and physically they can’t hang with me.”

Andrade hopes to be back in the ring by January. If he’s not back in front of his Providence fans and local media, “You can catch me on TV,” he said.


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