Demetrius Andrade looks around, listens, sees what flies, what builds buzz, and considers that one method to stir things up and boost his Twitter followers is to act like an arse.
I chatted with the WBO 154 pound champion, who gloves up next on June 14, at Barclays Center, and on HBO, against 25-1-1 Brit Brian Rose. Would his footprint in the sport be a bit bigger, I asked, if he was more Broner-ish, I wondered.
"You have to be yourself," the 20-0 (13 KOs) Rhode Islander, a 6-1 southpaw, told me. "You can act like a buffoon, and get on TV. I'm not a buffoon, I'm not going out there to impress anyone like that. That's his MO. Broner, he tries to follow (Floyd Mayweathers') suit. You can't be a follower, you have to be a leader. I want to be a leader. I'm me, I'm a comedian, it comes natural. You don't need to be a fool for attention. I let my hands do the talking for me."
Now, that nickname. "Boo Boo." Doesn't strike fear in any heart, does it? Sounds like it belongs to a cartoon character. Who tagged him "Boo Boo" anyway?
"That was me being a s--t, running around the house, being a pain in the butt to my mom and dad," said the 26-year-old, who grew up in Providence, and is looking to get into the mix Vinny Paz, and John Ruiz, as the top pugilistic dogs from New England in recent eras. "I was fighting with my brothers, climbing around..."
Andrade, promoter by Banner and Star Boxing, learned to fight initially scrapping with his brothers, one older, one younger, and he says all three boys can rumble, and that helped toughen him up. Will he need his A game to handle Rose, who is not someone who is known to the US fight crowd, or would a tussle with an Andrade brother be just as challenging?
"Is he a challenge? You'll see June 14. My skills and my ability, I can do anything. He's 25-1, you guys be the judge how good he is. Same with me, I haven't seen much of him. Whatever the people say, they judge. The fans do the judging."
Indeed. The fans signed off on a Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana fight, pretty much, because they liked how the Argentine handled Mayweather Lite, Adrien Broner. If Andrade can get a nice run going, and keep the momentum up from his November 2013 win over Vanes Martirosyan, he'd love to get his name in the mix, on the lips of fans, for a Floyd Mayweather scrap. Andrade said Floyd did what he needed to do against Maidana, and that the fight was entertaining, and that Maidana presents a high hurdle for anyone, with his bullrushes, his haymaker-hurling. Andrade scored it for Floyd, 9-3. And the Rose fight...Will that go the distance? Or will he score stoppage?
"My prediction? Damn boy...you better look out for these punches! The knockouts come when they come. Everyone can go. Some got that chin, or the body...I keep the combos pumping, pump the jab. The crowd will be like, 'Day-um!' This is my show. Provodnikov is the main event, but I'm striking while the iron is hot. The cream of the crop will rise in the long run!"
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV