WBA light middleweight champion Jack Culcay looks to defend his title in Ludwigshafen, Germany, tonight as he takes on the undefeated Demetrius Andrade. Culcay will have home advantage as he seeks the biggest victory of his career, but he faces a difficult task against a fighter once regarded as one of the best in the world.
Andrade has been an enigma over the past few years, having only fought three times since November 2013. One of those bouts came against Blackpool’s Brian Rose, where the American star outclassed Rose in one of the most one-sided world title fights in recent memory. At his best, Andrade is a fully well-rounded fighter, with deceptive power mixed with an elegant physicality which continually startles his opponents.
Inactivity has been his fatal flaw, and though he stopped Willie Nelson Jr last June, there are concerns that he may display ring-rust against the game Culcay. The 31-year-old Ecuadorian-German won the interim version of the WBA title 11 months ago when he stopped Jean Carlos Prada, and he has lost just once in 23 professional fights, a defeat he atoned for immediately after.
Despite a solid record and a rugged fighting style, Culcay has failed to establish himself as a headline fighter in Germany, and he will be hoping that victory tonight will catapult his status into the upper echelons of European fighters. British fight fans can watch the action on Sky Sports, and the bookmakers have Andrade as an overwhelming 1/12 favourite against Culcay’s 8/1 odds.
Andrade defeated Culcay en route to winning gold at the 2007 World Amateur Championships, but has never fought outside of America as a professional. If Culcay can get a solid start he may be able to make the fight competitive, but the class of Andrade should be too much when all is said and done.
A middleweight shootout takes place in the early hours of the morning on BoxNation, as former world champion David Lemieux meets Curtis Stevens in a battle of the power-punchers. The dynamic Lemieux has one of the most crowd-pleasing styles in boxing, with 32 stoppage victories from 36 wins.
The Canadian has power in both hands, and relentless aggression which, on occasion, has played to his disadvantage as well. Lemieux won the IBF middleweight title in June 2015 after dismantling Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, before running into the fearsome Gennady Golovkin a few months later.
Although Lemieux lasted eight rounds with Golovkin he was outgunned by the fearsome champion, and he will have to be careful not to fall into a similar firefight with Curtis Stevens in New York tonight.
29-5 as a professional, Stevens too took Golovkin into the eighth round in November 2013, but has failed to find consistency as a fighter. Although Stevens took the undefeated records of Tureano Johnson and Patrick Teixeira, he often lacks the mentality to outperform experienced fighters. The American has been doing his best to hype tonight's fight, which has left an irate Lemieux ready to explode.
''The last time that my opponent spoke so much and I so disliked him, I believe it was Delray Raines. I broke three of his ribs and his nose. It didn't end up very well for him,” said Lemieux.
''I couldn't be more prepared for a fight. I have one objective in mind: I want to take his head off. I am so motivated to put on a great performance on Saturday night. Stevens put a lot of oil in the fire with his disrespectful comments and he will pay for it.”
An unperturbed Stevens is sticking to his guns however. "No matter what he brings, it doesn't matter. I'm ready to adjust. I see myself winning this fight. Whether it be by knockout or by decision, it doesn't matter. I am really well prepared this time."
Lemieux is a 1/3 favourite with the oddsmakers, with Stevens a 3/1 underdog. Some value could come in the 8/11 for the fight to go over eight rounds, because though both fighters carry significant power, they’re both durable.