- Michael Woods, Boxing
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His original foe for "Friday Night Fights" backed out Monday, the replacement foe backed out Tuesday, and the replacement's replacement finally was cemented on Wednesday afternoon, two days before Demetrius Andrade was to glove up at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. But if the Rhode Island-based junior middleweight was experiencing undue stress or annoyance, he didn't sound like it in a Wednesday night phone call with ESPN.com.
Andrade, the 23-year-old southpaw and 2008 U.S. Olympian, betrayed only the tiniest hint of dissatisfaction when he admitted he would have liked it if original opponent Derek "Pooh" Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs) hadn't pulled himself from the fight on Monday, citing a high fever.
"Was Ennis really sick?" Andrade asked rhetorically. "There were times before my fights I had a fever. A doctor's note would've been nice. He could've waited til Tuesday or Wednesday to see if he felt better. But I was gonna beat his a-- regardless."
Andrade (15-0, 10 KOs), who last fought in September, beating Saul Duran via stoppage in the third round, took issue with the chatter of Philadelphia's Ennis, which surfaced on GFL.TV three weeks ago. "I'm just looking at this as another fight," Ennis said. "But as soon as I beat him, I'm right back on top."
Said Andrade: "Pooh was smack-talking, saying he'd use me as a springboard. I'm frustrated it fell through."
Terrance Cauthen (36-7, 9 KOs) was the fill-in -- for a hot minute, anyway -- but after verbally agreeing to the Andrade scrap, the 35-year-old from Trenton, N.J., failed to sign a contract. The reason for his early Wednesday swerve became apparent Wednesday night, when it was leaked that he will fight Thomas Dulorme on "ShoBox" on Feb. 17. Or maybe not: Aris Ambriz was announced as Dulorme's foe on Thursday afternoon. (Very fluid, this business biz; Ron Katz, the matchmaker for the FNF show, would get the fattest check of anyone working the show at Mohegan, if this world were nothing but fair.)
So Angel "Toro" Hernandez, a 36-year-old Chicagoan, will fill the slot against Andrade -- or so we must assume for the time being. The Mexican-born hitter has a 30-10 record and has lost his past three, against Peter Manfredo Jr. (TKO10), Osumanu Adama (UD12) and Joey Hernandez (DQ8) in March. Event promoter Joe DeGuardia insists Hernandez will not be a steamroller special for Andrade.
"We're very fortunate to find a solid veteran like Angel Hernandez as a late replacement," DeGuardia said. "He's been in with some of the best and beaten the likes of Juan Carlos Candelo, Frankie Randall, James McGirt, Larry Marks and Antwun Echols. We expect him to be a solid test for Demetrius."
Andrade is transferring some of his Ennis ire, it seems, to Hernandez. "I feel dissed he took the fight," he said. "Money talks. He took the fight on too short notice. I have to show him he shouldn't have taken it."
Andrade said he watched a bit of video on the late sub and sounds chill about the musical chairs situation, even though he was hustling early Wednesday to bone up on tactics versus a lefty (Cauthen).
"Is there a preferred style I like to fight?" he said. "I've seen them all, I can handle them all."
He seems to have escaped the Patriots Funk, the malaise felt by so many in the New England area after the New York Giants stunned Patriot Nation in the Super Bowl.
"I'm going to go in there, showcase my talent, do what we've been working on. The light's on me, I'm going to shine," Andrade said. "The Patriots didn't do, but I'm gonna do it."