Demetrius Andrade has a chance to make himself mandatory challenger for Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez when he fights David Benavidez on November 25.
The Showtime PPV is one of the last on offer by the broadcaster before an exit from the sport of boxing, and it’s a fittingly competitive main event.
Benavidez – an undefeated two-time champion in the 168 ranks – gives Andrade – new to the weight class after winning world titles in two lower divisions – a shot at his number one spot.
Speaking on Pro Box TV, Paulie Malignaggi said that Andrade once had the potential to be the very best in the world.
“Let me be real clear: Demetrius Andrade would have beat your favourite fighter’s a** all over the place in his prime, at any point.”
“Unfortunately, it didn’t happen in his prime, that’s why he’s getting the fight now. He’s still at a high level, but I don’t think he’s going to be the same guy he was before.”
“In those years, that guy had the potential to be the number one pound for pound guy in the world. But no one will ever know it, because of the way he was mistreated and his own personal decisions.”
The southpaw hasn’t been tested as much as fans would have liked throughout his career, and has still not landed a special statement fight at the age of 35.
With that in mind, and believing his best days are behind him, Malignaggi sees Benavidez getting the win, potentially by stoppage.
“Andrade definitely is one of the tragic stories of boxing. I don’t think he’s gonna beat Benavidez. I think he’s gonna start out very well and possibly get stopped in a fight where he might’ve been ahead.
I see Benavidez closing very, very strong after an Andrade good start. At 35, 36 it’s a lot more difficult to stay strong down the stretch. You’re not in your prime.”
Both men have been chasing Canelo for some time, but only one will get his shot in the first half of 2024.