Andrade: “I’m The Best Talent At Middleweight”

Demetrius Andrade prepares to defend his third world championship in two divisions for the first time against Artur Akavov.

For the United States Olympian, his WBO middleweight title defense at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden is meaningful.

“It’s a historical moment for me and my family,” Andrade told FIGHT SPORTS on Wednesday.

“Fighting in Madison Square Garden, no matter if it’s the Hulu (theater) or not, it’s Madison Square Garden, baby, what could you say?”

When asked about the challenge ahead of him in Akavov, who has fought for this title before against Billy Joe Saunders, Andrade said he’s not looking for easy opponents.

“We’re not looking to get in there with soft opposition, unlike what other people are doing in the boxing world and we can’t allow this anymore,” the Rhode Island native said following the press conference.

“I need to get him (Akavov), before he could fight the bigger names in this weight division.”

Speaking of Saunders, Andrade dragged his former scheduled opponent for his testing positive for oxilofrine, forcing Saunders to vacate the title, which Andrade would win against Walter Kautondokwa.

“I’ve already been a three-time world champion in two weight divisions, Billy Joe Saunders has never done that,” said Andrade. “I’m clean, I don’t use drugs unlike he did. At the end of the day do you count anything he’s done in his career official because he could have been cheating?

“I must be a bad man coming off a year layoff to come back and the champion wants to use drugs to try and beat me.”

“I’m the best talent out there in this weight division.”

Considering himself the “best talent” at middleweight, Andrade is looking for a fight against unified middleweight titleholder, Canelo Alvarez, but knows a win on Friday doesn’t secure him the shot.

“Me winning is not gonna set up a Canelo fight next, it don’t work that way,” said the WBO champ. “It takes two to tango and you kinda talk about it, because what are you gonna do if Canelo (fails a drug test)? Did GGG fight the most dangerous guy or the weakest, so he can fight Canelo later on?

“I’m just gonna do my job, eliminate everybody else so they don’t have anybody to face but me.”

Demetrius Andrade defends his WBO Middleweight Title against Artur Akavov Friday night on DAZN at 9pm ET.

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