Junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade was a star amateur -- 2008 U.S. Olympian and 2007 world amateur champion -- and is beginning to make his name as professional.
He claimed a vacant world title in November when he outpointed previously undefeated Vanes Martirosyan despite being knocked down in the first round. After the knockdown, however, the slick Andrade mostly dominated the fight.
Now he is back and ready to make his first title defense Saturday (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in the cofeature of the card headlined by junior welterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) making his first defense against Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs). The broadcast will also include a replay of last Saturday's Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez pay-per-view fight.
The 26-year-old Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs), who is from Providence, Rhode Island, and living in Atlanta, will be facing mandatory challenger Brian Rose (25-1-1, 7 KOs), 29, of England. Rose is an unknown fighter stateside, but Andrade is hoping to shine so he can launch himself into the discussion for bigger fights in a weight class that includes star Canelo Alvarez as well as (occasionally) Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Andrade has been criticized by some for his sometimes very technical style, but he knows if he wants to get bigger fights and for HBO to continue featuring him, he will have to also entertain.
He seems ready and willing to do that.
"I'm a bad man! I'm going to whip his ass," Andrade said of Rose. "He's getting knocked out. Fans are going to see why none of the top guys in my division want to fight me. I'm taking over!"
Rose has won 11 fights in a row since a 2010 sixth-round knockout loss to unknown Max Maxwell, including a split-decision win against Argentina's Javier Maciel in an October eliminator to earn the title shot.
Rose has two notable names on his record in former titleholders Vivian Harris (KO3 in 2012) and Joachim Alcine (TKO12 in 2013), but both were well past their prime when he beat them.
Andrade is not too impressed.
"I've seen clips of Rose," he said. "He's a straight-up boxer. I won't know too much more until I get in the ring with him. I do know I'm not going 12 rounds with this guy."
That is what Ed Farris, Andrade's manager, is hoping for.
"I'm very excited about this opportunity for Demetrius," he said. "Hopefully, we'll get a spectacular win and provide fans with the kind of performance that they deserve. They will see Demetrius' incredible potential and special gifts if he does what he's capable of in the ring. Hopefully, they will become excited to see him fight guys like Mayweather and Alvarez. I know Demetrius can beat every one of the top guys out there. Whether politics in this sport will allow Demetrius the opportunity to show the world his tremendous ability, well, that's another story.
"I know one thing, though: Sooner or later Demetrius Andrade will be recognized as one of the most talented boxers in the world, and boxing politics won't stop him from eventually getting to the top."