Demetrius Andrade dominates Luke Keeler for easy TKO victory in latest title defense
Andrade dominated the fight after scoring a knockdown in the opening seconds of the fight
WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade promised to give Luke Keeler "the beating of his life" ahead of their clash in Miami. After dropping Keeler in the opening seconds of the fight, it seemed Andrade's plan was perfectly on track. In the second round, Andrade smashed Keeler with a left hand for a second knockdown, but again Keeler rose, apparently not satisfied with the level of beating he been handed in such a short time before the referee stepped in to stop the action in Round 9.
Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KO) managed to stay upright for several more rounds, giving as much effort as he could muster. Andrade (29-0, 18 KO) was simply the better fighter in seemingly every way on Thursday night. The promised beating shifted from brief explosive knockdowns to a slow and steady drubbing, with Andrade avoiding Keeler's offense and picking and choosing when to tag the Irishman.
As Round 9 ticked away, Andrade cracked Keeler with a two-punch combo that buckled the challenger's legs. Andrade poured on the punishment against the ropes, but Keeler continued to throw punches in return and clinched to ward off a stoppage from the looming referee. Andrade took a step and landed another big left hand that drove Keeler backward and continued to fire until Keeler stumbled back and collided with the referee before hitting the ropes. At the 2:59 mark of Round 9, the referee had seen enough and called a halt to the contest, awarding Andrade the TKO victory.
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The way the fight played out was expected. Andrade was the biggest favorite on the card, with odds at -4000 days before the fight. While there's always something to be said for a boxer handling his business in the expected way, the undefeated champion will once again face questions about when he will have the kind of career-defining fight that is entirely missing from his resume.
Andrade has wanted fights with Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Jermall Charlo, but none of those fights have materialized. Andrade's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has made statements that they sent a bout agreement to Charlo but did not receive a response, leading to the fight with Keeler, who served as little more than a warm body.
After his victory, Andrade made it clear that he still wants the Charlo fight, even singing "Let's Get It On" when asked if he wants to go ahead with meeting the fellow champ. However, he then announced his plan to jump up in weight for his next fight to try and make a splash.
"I wanted to go up to 168 and fight Billy Joe Saunders my next fight," Andrade said. "And that's what I'm going to do."
Saunders is an undefeated former WBO middleweight champion and current WBO super middleweight champ. It's certainly a fair challenge and a big fight for Andrade. Even if it doesn't quite hit the same spot for him as Canelo, Golovkin or the more realistic option of Charlo.
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