By Robert Addams: The WBO has ordered World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) to defend against #1 mandatory challenger Steven Butler (28-1-1, 24 KOs) in his next fight. The two fighters will have 30 days to negotiate the match before it’ll go to a purse bid.
Steven Butler previously knocked out by Brandon Cook
Butler, 24, is a Canadian 160-lb fighter with very little experience against world level opposition. He stepped it up once during his 5-year pro career was knocked out in the 3rd round by Brandon Cook (20-2, 17 KOs) in January 2017.
For boxing fans that unfamiliar with Cook, he’s the same guy that WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia destroyed in a third round knockout in September 2018. Cook was completely over-matched against Munguia.
Butler never avenged his loss to Cook. Ideally, that would have been the thing for Butler to do, because it looks bad that he never avenged the loss. The opposition that Butler has faced since his defeat to Cook is nothing special.
Andrade taking step down in class against Butler
This is arguably a big step down in class for the 31-year-old Andrade from his last fight against Maciej Sulecki last June. Andrade out-boxed Sulecki in winning a 12 round unanimous decision by a wide score on DAZN in Providence, Rhode Island.
That was a fight in which Andrade appeared close to scoring a quick knockout in the first two rounds, but then he backed off and boxed Sulecki the rest of the way.
That was a mistake on Andrade’s part, as he gassed out in the second half of the contest, and looked incredibly poor. Andrade looked amateurish, and not in the same realm as the elite level middleweights in the division.
Butler has 10 fight winning streak
Canadian Butler is coming into the fight with Andrade with a 10-fight winning streak against mostly marginal opposition. In his seven fights, Butler has beaten these fighters:
- Vitalii Kopylenko
- Paul Valenzuela Jr
- Jesus Antonio Gutierrez
- Jordan Balmir
- Carson Jones
- Jaime Herrera
- Uriel Gonzalez
Despite Butler’s high 80% KO percentage, he’s not a huge puncher. He’s more of a slow, methodical type of fighter that wears down his opposition with volume punching. He has slow hands, and he tends to throw a lot of clubbing shots.
Butler doesn’t really dominate his opposition. Even in with his 28-1-1 record, Butler gets hit back frequently, and his opponents look like they’re in the fight with him. Butler’s inexperience as a pro makes it hard to view him as a solid #1. The WBO has their reasons for ranking Butler at the number #1 spot, but he lacks the resume to be viewed a solid top fighter
Andrade wants GGG, Canelo and Saunders
Demetrius is interested in taking on Saul Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin or Billy Joe Saunders, but he’s going to have to get Butler out of the way first. Andrade’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is hoping he can set up a fight between him and Gennady Golovkin in 2020, if GGG wins the IBF middleweight title this Saturday night.
Golovkin (39-1-1 35 KOs) is facing Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) for the vacant IBF title at Madison Square Garden in New York. Golovkin has expressed interest in fighting a unification match if he wins the IBF belt.
GGG’s options are as follows:
- Andrade, WBA ‘regular’ belt holder Ryota Murata
- Jermall Charlo – WBC champion
A fight between Golovkin and Canelo is unlikely, since the Golden Boy star isn’t showing interest right now in fighting Gennady in a third fight. Andrade has the edge in getting the Golovkin fight due to him being with Matchroom.