Demetrius Andrade is expected to relinquish his world title in favour of moving up in weight.
The WBO middleweight champion has long flirted with the idea of a shift north to 168 pounds and after being mandated to face Janibek Alimkhanuly, it looks like he will finally make the move.
Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) initially received approval to put the Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KOs) fight on the back burner, but after his proposed fight for the super-middleweight interim title against England’s Zach Parker – scheduled for May 21 – was kiboshed due to the Providence man suffering a shoulder injury, a new order came for the high-risk-low-reward showdown in July.
Alimkhanuly is expected to be upgraded to full champion should ‘Boo Boo’ move up and revisit a fight with Parker (22-0, 16 KOs), who is managed by Neil Marsh, promoted by Frank Warren and last in action in November last year when he defended the WBO International title at super-middleweight against Marcus Morrison, stopping him inside four rounds at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.
Boxing Scene’s Jake Donovan was the first with the news and stated on Twitter that the 34-year-old American is back on the train of potentially picking up a world title in a third weight division, having previously held the WBO belt at super-welterweight.
Told that Demetrius Andrade will no longer move forward w/ ordered WBO MW title consolidation clash with Janibek Alimkhanuly. Andrade instead plans to revisit interim 168 title fight w/ Zach Parker. Janibek to be elevated to full WBO champ. Story to come on @boxingscene…
— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox) August 22, 2022
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez holds the full WBO title at the weight and will return to the ring for the first time since suffering his second career defeat next month.
The Mexican superstar was on the wrong end of a decision against Russia’s Dmitry Bivol at the T-Mobile Arena in May when he challenged for the WBA title up at light-heavyweight and he will be back at the same venue on September 17 when he takes on Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy clash.
Golovkin, from Kazakhstan, holds the WBA Super, IBO and IBF titles down at middleweight and will travel up to 168lbs for a third showdown with Alvarez, more than four years after their second meeting.
Jaime Munguia, the former WBO super-welterweight champion who moved up to middleweight seemingly a lifetime ago and has yet to really do anything at the weight, is the current number one in the rankings and the most likely option to take on Alimkhanuly, while Chris Eubank Jr – who has a catchweight showdown with Conor Benn scheduled for October 8 at the O2 Arena in London – is in at number two.