Demetrius Andrade Is Now On A Deadline to Defend His WBO Title
The newly crowned WBO interim middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly will now finally get a shot at Demetrius Andrade’s middleweight title, as WBO made it mandatory for him to defend his title till the close of this year.
The undefeated Kazakh, Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KOs) scored a destructive second-round knockout on England’s Danny Dignum this past Saturday at Resorts World Las Vegas. Alimkhanuly left the arena with the interim WBO middleweight title tied around his waist, leaving no doubt that he deserves the opportunity next.
Ahead of the fight, the boxing council notified both fighters that the winner of this bout will challenge the reigning WBO middleweight champ, Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19KOs), for his title, further apprising that the mandatory defense must take place no later than Nov. 17, or 180 days from last Saturday’s Alimkhanuly-Dignum clash.
“The WBO Middleweight Champion has up to 180-days after the Janibek/Dignum bout to be medically and physically ready, willing, and able to fight the winner of the Janibek/Dignum bout,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee noted in an official letter.
The letter was sent to all concerned parties, a copy of which was obtained by BoxingScene.com.
Andrade has been holding the WBO title since 2018 outscoring Walter Kautondokwa at the end of 12 rounds. Since then, the “Boo Boo” has defended his title five times with most of his wins coming over cannon fodder level opposition.
Lately, Andrade had been vouching for an interim super middleweight title fight with England’s Zach Parker (22-0, 16KOs). The fight was approved by the WBO, but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement as Parker’s promoter, Frank Warren, wanted to stage this fight at Pride Park in Parker’s hometown of Derby, England.
Alimkhanuly and his manager, Egis Klimas, had called out Andrade several times for a showdown between the two, but the terms were never settled between the two camps.
But as it stands now, it’s a win-win situation for Alimkhanuly and his team, as WBO has confirmed either he will get a first shot at the full WBO middleweight title or his first official defense of the belt. If Andrade fails to show up later this year, he will be stripped from his title handing over the division’s cane to the Interim champ, Alimkhanuly.
“If the WBO Middleweight Champion is not medically and physically ready, willing, and able to fight within the term provided herein, the WBO Middleweight Championship will be declared ‘Vacant’ ‘Ipso Facto,’” noted Batista-Salas. “The WBO World Championship Committee shall recommend to the WBO Ratings Committee that the WBO Middleweight Participant be rated at the number one position in the Middleweight Ratings. Consequently, the WBO Interim Middleweight Champion will automatically be elevated to ‘Full Champion’ status.”
Things are getting a lot messier for Andrade, and he needs to sort this situation quickly with his team and the promoter before it gets out of hand.