Andrade Dominates Early, Drops Keeler For Win

In his quest to face boxing’s elite, Demetrius Andrade dug deep into his arsenal the weekend of Super Bowl LIV. Inside the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami, FL, Andrade bested Luke Keeler via TKO in the ninth round. As a result, he retained his WBO Middleweight Championship for the third time. Although the win was an easy one for him, it is how he got to the finish that was important.

“I went in there and thought I could put him out. So I took him out,” Andrade stated after the fight. “I showed him I am not delusional. I got more knockdowns than I do fights, baby. I am entertaining. You gotta love it, I come to put on a show every time.”

Andrade (29-0) started swinging right out of the gate, knocking down Keeler (17-3-1) in the first ten seconds with a vicious hook. He continued to pounce, using jabs, speed and pressure to suffocate Keeler. The Irish star was able to survive the first round, however, which ended up being the theme of the entire fight.

From there, Andrade showed flashes of brilliance; he landed heavy lefts and combination punches that controlled the pace of the bout. In the second, he landed heavy rights hooks, but appeared to be going at a rushing pace instead of a calculating one. That didn’t stop him, however, from hitting another heavy shot to the face that dropped Keeler yet again.

Unfortunately for Andrade, Keeler managed to survive. Even with uppercuts and body shots, Andrade’s movement wasn’t syncing with the shots he should have been making. He went from putting the gas pedal on go to neutral. While dominating the fight, he wasn’t setting up shots, just going for the knockout shots, which has plagued him throughout his career.

Keeler managed to make the fight interesting by surviving. He showed plenty of moxie, but this fight was over before it began.

Andrade managed to find his groove again by the end of the eighth, and by the ninth he had a second wind. Left and right uppercuts were pouring down. As the seconds counted down, Andrade landed a right hook and a three-punch combination that forced the referee to stop the bout.

The Deontay Wilder-like shots by Andrade took a while to connect, but when they did, all bets were off. Following the bout, “Boo Boo” called out Billy Joe Saunders, the WBO Super Middleweight Champion. The two were initially supposed to fight a few months back but Saunders tested positive for Oxilofrine, a banned substance. He also was enticed with the idea of fighting Jermall Charlo

In the co-main event, it was a battle of YouTube stars. Luke Paul, brother of Jake, dominated AnEsonGib in the first round via TKO. It was a special attraction bout that Eddie Hearn has been adamant about doing more of. Following the bout, Paul butted heads with KSI, who beat his brother earlier last year.

Main Card (DAZN, 9 p.m. ET) 

Demetrius Andrade (c) v. Luke Keeler via TKO (2:59 into round nine) – WBO Middleweight Championship

Luke Paul def. AnEsonGib via TKO (2:18 into round one)

JoJo Diaz def. Tevin Farmer (c) via unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) – IBF Super Featherweight Championship

Murodjon Akhmadaliev def. Daniel Roman via split decision (113-115, 115-113, 115-113) – WBA and IBF Super Bantamweight Championship

Prelims (DAZN, 7 p.m. ET)

Alexis Espino def. Vincent Baccus via TKO (1:49 into round three)

Roamer Alexis Angulo (c) def. Anthony Sims Jr. via split decision (94-95, 96-93, 96-93) – WBO Latino Super Middleweight Title

Austin Williams def. Donald Sanchez via TKO (2:51 into round four)

Amanda Serrano def. Simone Da Silva via TKO (round three)

Otha Jones III v. Juan Santiago via TKO (1:29 into round two)

Avirl Mathie def. Angelina Hoffschneider via TKO (round four)

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