Former junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade is about to put the past 16 forgettable months behind him and get back into the ring.
He will take on Dario Fabian Pucheta in a 10-round junior middleweight bout Oct. 17 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, his co-promoters, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions and Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, announced Tuesday.
"It's about time that I get back in the ring. I am happy to be fighting [near] home in front of my fans," said Andrade, who is from Providence, Rhode Island. "It is the most comfortable place in the world to be, and I look forward to regaining my title and defending in front of all my loyal fans. I just want to thank them for their support during the last year. I look forward to seeing all of my fans at the fight."
Pelullo and DeGuardia made a deal with Providence promoter Jimmy Burchfield's CES Boxing to put Andrade on the card he is promoting.
"I am thrilled that Demetrius is back. I have always felt he has the ability to be the best in the world, and I expect that within the next year he will be a two-time world champ," DeGuardia said.
The fight with Pucheta (20-2, 11 KOs), 28, of Argentina, who has won three bouts in a row, will be Andrade's first since June 2014. That is when he made his only title defense, a seventh-round knockout of mandatory challenger Brian Rose, of England, under the bright HBO lights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
But Andrade's career stalled after that because he has battled with his promoters (with whom he has since smoothed things over), turned down a Showtime contract that would have included a career-high payday of $550,000 for the first bout (and escalated from there), was stripped of his 154-pound world title for inactivity this summer and is in litigation with Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports.
Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs), 27, filed suit against Roc Nation Sports in New York Supreme Court this summer, accusing the promotional company of reneging on a promise to pay him $550,000. He contends that Roc Nation Sports promised to buy out his contract from Pelullo and DeGuardia and promised him the $550,000 to turn down the offer they brought him for the deal with Showtime. Andrade said that when he went to collect the payment, Roc Nation reneged on the deal, and it never bought out his contract.
DeGuardia and Pelullo also are suing Roc Nation Sports for $20 million, plus punitive damages, claiming that Roc Nation Sports executives interfered with their exclusive promotional contract with Andrade and convinced him to turn down the Showtime contract offer, the first bout of which would have been in December against Jermell Charlo.
Now Andrade is trying to put the disaster of the past 16 months behind him and regain the momentum he had following his title defense last year.
"I am looking forward to Demetrius getting back in the ring. We have been in the gym training hard, and he will be ready to put on a good performance on Oct. 17," said Paul Andrade, Demetrius' father and trainer.
Said Pelullo, "He is one of the top junior middleweights in the world. I predict within a year that he will be fighting for and winning the junior middleweight championship of the world for a second time."