Demetrius Andrade and Zach Parker are right back where they were earlier this year.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBO has called a bid hearing to determine the promotional rights to the previously approved Andrade-Parker interim super middleweight title fight. The session will take place on September 20, nearly a month after the fight was rescheduled only for the two sides to fail to reach an agreement.
“It is reported that on August 23, 2022, this Committee ordered the start of negotiations to
combat theme. The parties were given 10 days to reach an agreement, or the bidding procedure.
would be ordered according to the WBO World Championships Regulations”, Luis Batista-Salas, president of the WBO Championships Committee, pointed out to the respective teams of Andrade and Parker through a letter, a copy of which was obtained by BoxingScene.com. “The period of time provided by this Committee having elapsed without an agreement having been reached, we hereby order the auction procedures in accordance with the WBO World Championships Regulations.”
The minimum acceptable offer for the fight will be $300,000. It remains to be seen if the matchup generates similar interest as it did when the fight was open for bidding on February 24, when Queensberry Promotions, Parker’s promoter, bid $1,834,050 to secure the rights to the fight. Queensberry outbid Matchroom Boxing, Andrade’s promoter at the time, who posted a bid of $1,750,000 to control the event.
The fight was due to take place on May 21 in Derby, England, Parker’s hometown, but Andrade (31-0, 19KOs) suffered an injury that ultimately canceled the event. The Providence-bred southpaw was then instructed to review plans for a WBO middleweight title-consolidation clash with interim champion Janibek Alimkahanuly (12-0, 8KOs), a mandatory title defense for which he sought an exception to face Parker.
Andrade, who has since parted ways with Matchroom, was ordered to secure the fight with Alimkhanuly in November to avoid being stripped. When it became clear a deal would not be reached, the WBO called a purse offer hearing which was called off when Andrade relinquished his WBO middleweight title to campaign at super middleweight.
Ed Farris, Andrade’s longtime manager, has taken the lead in interim title fight talks with Parker, dealing directly with Queensberry instead of manager Neil Marsh. Rumors swirled that the fight would possibly take place on November 5 in Nottingham, England, though that deal would have to come through before Tuesday, or Queensberry would win back the promotional rights to host such an event.
BoxingScene.com has learned that one factor that forced this fight into a bid was Andrade’s hesitation to travel to the UK, though not entirely averse to the idea of hitting the road for the fight. That matter could be resolved before the purse offer, or you can simply agree to the venue once the fight rights have been secured by the promoter.
The road to securing a fight with Parker (22-0, 16KOs) has been a rocky one. Andrade and Matchroom initially submitted the proposal to the WBO shortly after the sanctioning body ordered Andrade-Alimkhanuly last November 30. The sanctioner was willing to consider the interim super middleweight title fight from his full title claimant, the undisputed WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO champion. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs) was scouting fights outside of weight for his yet-to-be-announced next fight.
Too much time had elapsed, prompting the WBO to call a bid hearing to determine the promotional rights for the ordered middleweight title fight. The session was delayed several times, long enough for Andrade-Parker to get back into play. The concessions made by Andrade were enough to convince the WBO to bless the interim super middleweight title fight, in addition to ordering a similar fight at middleweight.
Parker has held the number one spot in the WBO super middleweight rankings since November 2020, only after Alvarez committed to fighting Callum Smith for the WBA “Super” title and the vacant WBC title. Alvarez was allowed to jump the line as the WBO Super champion, even though Parker had previously won a sanctioned title eliminator in a March 2020 eleventh-round knockout of Rohan Murdock.
Since then, Parker has won three fights, including a fourth-round knockout of Marcus Morrison on November 6 in Birmingham, England. The victory came less than two weeks before Andrade’s fifth and most recent WBO middleweight title defense, a second-round knockout of Ireland’s Jason Quigley on Nov. 19 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The 27-year-old Briton will now have a regional advantage for the biggest fight of his career to date, thanks to his promoter stepping in when he mattered most.
Andrade made six successful defenses of the WBO middleweight title he claimed in October 2018 in a vacant title fight over Walter Kautondokwa.
The run followed two separate junior middleweight title reigns, both beginning with victories in fights for the vacant title. The 2008 US Olympian and former two-division champion has yet to face and beat a current or former champion in 14 years as a pro.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox