Demetrius Andrade vs. Billy Joe Saunders
|Date & Time||Saturday October 20, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Andrade +148 / Saunders -162 -- Over/Under:
Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade fight Saturday at the TD Garden for the WBO middleweight title.
Billy Joe Saunders enters this fight with a 26-0 record that includes 12 knockouts. This will be Saunders’ third fight since 2017, and he’s coming off a December win over David Lemieux. Saunders is coming off his best victory in which he beat arguably the best Canadian boxer in his own backyard, the first time he left his own country. Saunders will now defend his belt for the fourth straight fight. Saunders was expected to fight Martin Murray, but the bout was canceled due to a hamstring injury. Saunders is a 29-year-old southpaw who stands at 5’11” and continues to make a case as the best middleweight in the world. Saunders is a lengthy fighter with great movement, solid defense and an aggressive offensive attack that overwhelms opponents. While Saunders isn’t known for his pure punching power, he does swing for the fences and has these rapid combinations that he lands from a distance and can be tough to counter. Saunders proved in his last bout just how talented he is and silenced some of the critics who may have been overlooking him. Four of Saunders’ last five victories have come by decision, and he hasn’t produced a knockout since his 2015 win over Yoann Bloyer. This will be Saunders’ first career fight in the United States.
Demetrius Andrade enters this fight with a 25-0 record that includes 16 knockouts. This will be Andrade’s third fight since 2017, and he’s coming off a October win over Alantez Fox. Andrade has been working his way up the middleweight division for quite some time and now has a chance t really put himself on the map. With wins over Willie Nelson, Brian Rose and Vanes Martirosyan, Andrade is already known to hardcore boxing fans, but a victory here really puts himself in the best of the division conversation. Andrade is a big southpaw who is 30 years old, stands at 6’1” with a 73-inch reach and does a fine job of mixing in powerful shots to the head and body. Andrade is a bully in the ring who wears down his opponent and has stopped six of his last 10 fights. Andrade has also shown he has above average conditioning for a guy his size, as he’s gone back-to-back decisions with two quality fighters. This will be Andrade’s first career fight in Massachusetts.
Andrade has size advantage here and will have the building packed with supporters considering he’s from Rhode Island, which isn’t that long of a trip to Boston. There’s a case to be made for the underdog Andrade. However, there’s no way you can pick against Saunders if you saw his last fight. Saunders proved he’s a top-10 pound for pound fighter in the world in his last fight and seems to be getting better as his competition improves. Saunders is relentless with those combinations and should overwhelm his opponent yet again.
I like Saunders to be the fighter who remains unbeaten.