Andrade vs Akavov : Andrade (26-0 16KOs) puts his WBO 160lb crown on the line for the first time against the Russian in New York, and the two-weight World ruler is eager to kick off 2019 with a bang having returned to the ring in style in 2018.
The Rhode Island star picked up the WBO crown with a commanding win over Walter Kautondokwa in Boston in October, flooring the undefeated African dangerman four times in the opening four rounds in his first fight in a year and his first title bout at 160lbs.
Andrade steps straight back into action and face-to-face with the ‘Wolverine’ Akavov (19-2 8KOs), who fights for the strap for the second time having ran previous incumbent Billy Joe Saunders close for the belt December 2016 in Glasgow.
“I’m out there trying to fight the undefeated guys, the champions, that’s what I want,” said Andrade. “I get in there with anyone at 160lbs – and I beat them all. It’s the time for the elite to fight each in 2019, people want to see me fight the big names and I want them.
“It’s going to happen, I am here, I’ve got the World title and I want the best. Akavov is coming to New York to take that title from me so I know that I have to be on my game as he’s a dangerous man, but trust me, when I shine on January 18, we’re going for all the big names next.
“My first fight was meant to be Saunders – an undefeated champion – and then I beat another undefeated fighter to win the title. That’s what I am about and that’s what I want my year to be, champion vs. champion, Demetrius Andrade vs. the best out there.”
One of Matchroom Boxing USA’s rising stars tastes his first action in 2019 on the card as Reshat Mati (2-0 1KO) returns to the scene of his last outing in October where the ‘Albanian Bear’ went the four round distance in his second fight.