Andrade retained his WBO middleweight title with a hard-fought victory over a game Williams on Saturday, before calling out WBC champ Jermall Charlo.
What appeared to be shaping up as a quick night of work for Demetrius Andrade turned into a hard-fought battle that went the distance.
However, in the end, Andrade proved once again that there are levels to boxing, as he scored a unanimous decision victory over a very game Liam Williams. Judges at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida had it 118-109, 118-109 and 116-111 all in favor of Andrade, who drowned Williams with an abundance of skills to retain the WBO middleweight championship Saturday.
Andrade, who has been yearning to fight the likes of a Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez or Gennadiy Golovkin, hopes that his 30th professional victory helps to inch him closer to securing a marquee fight.
"At the end of the day, I'm the champion. I'm undefeated," Andrade began telling DAZN's Chris Mannix fresh off his win. "I shouldn't have to inspire anyone to get into the ring for a belt, an undefeated record and a whole lot of money on the table, so whenever we could sit down at the table and make something happen, I'm willing to do it. I'm willing to risk it all."
Andrade even channeled late rapper DMX in growling "Let's get it on!" when asked about WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo.
After buckling Williams knees in the first round, "Boo Boo" nearly finished the show in the second when he deposited the mandatory challenger onto the canvas with a right-left combination straight down the middle for a knockdown.
Williams rose off the canvas at the nine count and survived the round, but Andrade kept pouring on the offense by repeatedly splitting the challenger's guard with a left hand, while detonating a vicious right uppercut at will over the course of the fight.
Still, outclassed in skills, Williams wasn't outclassed in guts, as he kept chugging forward and closing the gap, while leaning on the champ. By the middle to late rounds, Andrade was clearly tired and Williams continued to move forward to snag some rounds. However, he couldn't land definitive shots to do much more than that, as judges scored it for Andrade comfortably. DAZN News had it 117-110 for Andrade, who outlanded Williams 193 punches to 110.
When Andrade wasn't picking his shots, he was moving laterally and elusively enough to stifle a game Williams from landing any shots that could cause damage.
Still, perhaps Andrade getting tired in the later rounds was enough for one of the other champions at 160 pounds — like a GGG or Charlo — to pick up on that vulnerability and unify with the Providence, Rhode Island native.
Here's how the Andrade vs. Williams card went.
Demetrius Andrade vs. Liam Williams fight card
Demetrius Andrade def. Liam Williams by unanimous decision (118-109, 118-109, 116-111) to retain WBO Middleweight title
Carlos Gongora def. Christopher Pearson via eighth-round KO; Super Middleweight
Andrey Fedosov def. Mahammadrasul Majidov by first-round KO; Heavyweight
Arthur Biyarslanov def. Israel Mercado via majority decision (78-74, 77-75, 76-76); Junior Welterweight
Alexis Espino def. Ty McLeod by unanimous decision (60-54, 59-55, 59-55); Super Middleweight
Andrade pops Williams with that left jab and moves out of harms way. He's snapping that jab some more now and elusively moving. The fighters clinch for the third time this round, as the ref breaks them up. Big left hook from Andrade definitely hurt Williams. He clinches and the two fall to the ground. Quick combo from Andrade with about 30 seconds left. Williams trying to pressure, but doesn't have anything left in the tank at this point. The bell rings, as the two embrace. Williams was absolutely relentless, but Andrade was clearly a level above his mandatory challenger. (10-9 Andrade, 117-110 Andrade)
The two touch gloves after some warnings from the ref. Williams closing the gap and making this fight as ugly as he can. Andrade opens up with a flurry and then goes back to moving elusively and swiftly. Excellent ring generalship this fight from the champ. Andrade launches that right uppercut for good measure. He's tired after hitting Williams with everything he has over the course of this fight, but steals this round. (10-9 Andrade, 107-101 Andrade)
Williams has taken plenty of punishment but keeps moving forward. The challenger lands a right to the temple, but the champ retorts with that right uppercut moments later. Andrade's volume has gone down last couple of rounds. That's a credit to Williams leaning on the champ and continuously crowding his space. (10-9 Williams, 97-92 Andrade)
Andrade slowed things down in that last round, but is coming out with a spring in his step this round. Williams has been moving forward for a majority of this fight, but his shots haven't taken Andrade off his program at all. The champ is composed and remains in complete control. Just as that's said, Williams lands a lunging straight right and seems to have hurt Andrade — or at least let the champ know that there's more of this fight to go. Good inside work from Williams. (10-9 Williams, 88-82 Andrade)
Andrade picking and choosing his shots, whether crunching blows to the body or head hunting upstairs. A masterful, savvy boxing clinic being put on by the champ in this fight. (10-9 Andrade, 79-72 Andrade)
Andrade is landing 50 percent of his power punches thus far. He opens this round with some body work. Williams feverishly cutting off the ring, but not doing much inside. Instead, he's being set up by the champion. Now, Williams does land a solid right hand inside. Moments later, that slicing right uppercut lands again for Andrade. Another uppercut — this time followed by a right hand from the champ, who once again has Williams on questionable legs. (10-9 Andrade, 69-63 Andrade)
Andrade is making Williams miss a lot of shots here in the sixth. He catches Williams with a straight left and then detonates a huge right uppercut. Seconds later that right uppercut is unloaded once again. Williams is somehow eating these shots and still standing, but it's a lot of punishment that is taking its toll. (10-9 Andrade, 59-54 Andrade)
Williams showing pressure once again. Andrade makes him think twice by launching a few uppercuts that do damage. Another uppercut follows moments later. Williams doesn't have an answer for the champ's uppercut. Both fighters go down and almost through the ropes after being locked in the clinch. Williams is doing a good job slowing this fight down and making it ugly. But these uppercuts from the champ are razor sharp. (10-9 Andrade, 49-45 Andrade)
Williams is trying to turn this fight into an ugly bout, as he tries to close the gap and crowd Andrade's space. He's doing a great job of that so far, as he digs away and smothers the champion. A left splits Williams' guard, but the mandatory challenger counters with a right. Moments later, he adds another right. Andrade does not look comfortable right now. Williams looks to have his legs back and plenty of fight to go. (10-9 Williams, 39-36 Andrade)
Will Andrade turn up the volume even further or prolong the punishment? He's in complete, utter control through two, totally showing that he's on another level of boxing. Williams trying to dig and get inside of the champ's long reach, but his effort is mostly futile right now. After dancing on the balls of his feet, Andrade blasts Williams with a left uppercut followed by a right hook. He can drop Williams again with another power shot. Williams is doing better getting inside now — something that Andrade has to be cautious about. (10-9 Andrade, 30-26 Andrade)
What an opening round from the champ. Let's see how he follows that and how Williams responds. Andrade floating, moving exceptionally well, while popping that jab. Straight left lands and a right uppercut follows from Andrade. Williams' legs were briefly wobbly again. Williams finally gets on the inside and lands an overhand right to the head. But Andrade responds seconds later with a right-left right down the middle for a knockdown! Oh my! Williams looks to his corner and gets up at nine.
Andrade with a quick flurry and fancy footwork to go with it. A big left hand has Williams wobbly! Williams' eye is injured already. Wow. Early fireworks from Andrade, who usually starts off hot. Williams still doesn't have his legs back yet. Straight left splits Williams' guards and lands with plenty of sting. Uppercut from the champ follows moments later. (10-9 Andrade)
Andrade has been yearning for a fight with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez or Gennadiy Golovkin for some time now. Will he get closer to either with a statement victory or does a game Liam Williams pull off the upset? We're about to find out.
"They call him 'The Machine,'" Andrade says of Williams during a DAZN promo. "He's going to be the rust bucket when I get done."
The Andrade vs. Williams main event is minutes away
In the meantime, Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn remains mum on the details of the highly-anticipated Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury clash for undisputed heavyweight glory, while speaking with DAZN's Chris Mannix.
Gongora ends it 2:17 into the eighth round with a slashing left hand that makes Pearson backpedal and fall to the canvas. Pearson popped right up off the canvas, but took a knee back down to the mat at the count of seven, as he was counted out.
Gongora really shut that right eye of Pearson and the injury was giving him too much trouble there to continue. Gongora did an excellent job of pounding the body, before going upstairs and doing enough damage to get the knockout. Gongora landed 50 percent of his power punches in this dominating performance.
The sixth round offers a strange moment when the referee warns Pearson about pushing Gongora's head down in the clinch and Pearson swats the ref's hands away, drawing a more severe warning. The round ends with Gongora really turning up the volume and popping up Pearson's head with a vicious left uppercut against the ropes. 60-54 Gongora