Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Demetrius Andrade - Going For Gold In Welterweight Boxing at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China

“I used to be a little kid dreaming of being in the Olympics and now I’m talking to kids with the same dream. I tell them to never let anybody say no to their dreams. It feels great to represent the United States, Rhode Island, Providence, family and friends. "

Demetrius Andrade is going to be representing the Unite States as a welterweight boxer in the upcoming Summer Olympics and I will be rooting for him extra hard because he is from my home city of Providence, Rhode Island.

Living in the state of Rhode Island which only has a population of 1 million people and is the smallest state in size in the whole U.S, it's not very often that someone from here makes a name for themselves. Since the state is so small, when someone does make a name for themselves, it's almost as if the whole state is getting some shine, so forgive me if I happen to give props to those who come from here. On top of that, my home city of Providence, where Andrade is also from, has one of the highest poverty rates in the whole country, which makes it even more rare to see someone from Providence make a name for themselves.

Andrade is 20 years old and has been the top U.S. ranked welterweight for over 3 years, so he has an excellent chance to win a gold medal and make the country and the city of Providence, Rhode Island proud. I haven't yet decided how much of the Summer Olympics I am going to cover here, but you can be sure I will be following all of Andrade's fights.

Plus, you gotta love the kid because his favorite song listed in his bio on the USA Boxing Website is "Ether" from Nas:

Home: Providence, RI
Birthdate: 2/26/1988
Weight class: Welterweight/152 lbs
Height: 6-1
Weight: 152 lbs
Born: February 26, 1988 in Providence, R.I.
Lives: Providence, R.I.
Coach: Paul Andrade
School: Cooley High School
Children: daughter Autumn Andrade
Began boxing: 1994
Career Highlight: The 2005 U.S. Championships, Silver Gloves, Dual Meets and Junior Olympic International Invitational
Biggest Influence: My dad because he taught me everything I know in my lifetime
Draw to boxing: My dad
Greatest strength in the ring: My jab
Goals in and out of the ring: To be the greatest boxer I can and give back to my fans
Favorite movie: Four Brothers
Favorite TV Show: BET
Favorite Song: Nas Ether
Hobbies outside of boxing: Playing football

Here are some articles on Demetrius Andrade:

The biggest honor for an amateur athlete is to represent his or her country in the Olympics. In less than a month, Providence boxer Demetrius Andrade, who has been ranked the top U.S. welterweight (152 pounds) for more than three years, will do exactly that at the Beijing Games. “It means the world to me to fight for the USA at the Olympics,” said Andrade, 20, who trains at the 401 Boxing Gym, in Cranston. Andrade earned a place on Team USA after putting on several dominating performances at the 2007 Golden Gloves (April 30 –May 5) and the United States Olympic Trials, which were held last Aug. 20-26 in Houston. He has been living and training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the last 10 months. The 6-foot-1 phenom returned to Providence on July 11 for a brief visit with family and friends, and to work out one more time with David Keefe and his father, Paul, who are his co-coaches here before flying back to Colorado last Sunday. “I’ve sacrificed a lot to get this far, and I’m going to show the world what I can do in Beijing,” Andrade said. Andrade says he wants to do more than just compete in the Olympics. “My goal is to win the gold,” Andrade said. Andrade is considered to be one of America’s favorites to bring home a medal. He is one of only two world champions on Team USA. He has not lost a fight against American competition in the 152-pound weight class in more than three years. “I feel he will do well,” Keefe said of Andrade’s chances at the Olympics. “I think he will medal. If we get a fair shake with the judges, he should bring a gold back to Providence. The main thing for him is to take one fight at a time, because there are no do-overs.” Andrade, who has competed only once this season (a victory in a Team USA-Russia event), won the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Championships welterweight crown but had to withdraw from the U.S. Championships last year because of a medical emergency. In addition, he won the 2006 and 2007 National Golden Gloves Tournament. At the Olympic Trials, Andrade dominated his three opponents, stopping David Lopez in the quarterfinals and Charles Hatley in the semifinals before earning a convincing 21-13 victory over Keith Thurman for the championship and to earn his spot on the national team. In international competition, Andrade won a world title at the AIBA World Championships (Association International de Boxe Amateur) last year. He was never in danger of losing any of his fights at the World Championships, winning all his bouts by an average of 17 points before stopping Non Boonjumnong, of Thailand, in the finals for the world title. Andrade also won the silver medal at the Pan Am Games last year. He lost a controversial decision to Pedro Lima of Brazil, 7-6. “That was a good experience,” Andrade said. “I learned different techniques and I learned what punches score. But in the finals I fought a guy from Brazil and the tournament was in Brazil — but I feel like I won.” Andrade has been fighting against international competition since he was 16 and he says that will give him a big advantage over everybody else at the Olympics. “I’m pretty much know every style,” Andrade said. “I’ve fought the Russians, the Cubans … everybody.” Andrade began boxing when he was 6 under the tutelage of his father and later, Keefe. “Demetrius has settled down a lot,” Keefe said. “When he was a kid, he was a bit wild like most kids are. Myself and Paul used to laugh about his wild uppercuts and hooks, that used to put him way out of position. Now he is relaxed, and his punches are more precise. He has always been able to make adjustments on the go, but off his adjustments he now throws nice crisp punches.” Looking back, Demetrius Andrade says he always believed he would make it to the Olympics. “When you are little, you always think that you are going to do it because that’s what you thought you were going to do. But then when reality kicks in, you find out it’s harder than what you thought it would be. “I just went through the hard work, and thanks to David Keefe and Paul Andrade, they brought me up to where I am at now, and I tell all of the little kids that they can do the same thing also. All they have to do is stick to it and stay focused.” As for the Olympics, Keefe says Andrade’s biggest competition will be Hanati Silamu, from China, Magomed Nurudinov, from Belarus, and Kim Jung-Joo, of South Korea.“This is a dream come true,” Andrade said. “I’m going to come home with the gold.” (Providence Journal)

Bill Belichick doesn't invite many amateur boxers to drive up from Rhode Island to meet with him and the New England Patriots. With a world championship pedigree and a glistening pro career stretching out beyond Beijing, Demetrius Andrade is like no other American amateur boxer. To the U.S. welterweight, a summons from Belichick just seemed like another opportunity to seize the day. "You know, if you want to win next year, put me out there," Andrade told the Patriots coach. "Running back or wide receiver, or I'll play defense, I don't care. All I do is win." Andrade was a pretty good football player as a kid, but Belichick is among a growing circle of fight fans who realize the Beijing Olympics could be Andrade's kickoff to a remarkable boxing career. He's favored to win gold next month in the division he has dominated for three years, joining flyweight Rau'shee Warren as the Americans' top medal hopes. The 20-year-old realizes a standout performance could open doors to even grander destinations than the Patriots' locker room, though he claims he'd be happy just to galvanize the entire U.S. program into a return to international prominence. "It feels like just yesterday I was sitting down, talking with my dad and my other coach about how I wanted to be in the Olympics," Andrade said after a recent workout at historic Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn. "Everything that's happened is just crazy. I can't believe it's finally here, everything I've been working for." Andrade got his nickname, Boo Boo, from his father after a few childhood tumbles left him with bruises. Paul Andrade chuckles at the name's inappropriateness now, since his son's defensive prowess has kept his body mostly punishment-free in a brutal sport. Andrade is more than one of the world's best defensive fighters, however. He's a skilled technical boxer with surprising power when he chooses to unleash it, and none of the world's top amateur welterweights have been able to keep up with him. If Andrade doesn't come home with the Americans' second boxing gold in the last three Olympics, coach Dan Campbell will be surprised. "He's extremely cerebral," Campbell said. "He's a thinking boxer from Round 1. He's got beautiful defense, and he has a huge arsenal. He can throw a lot of punches from a lot of different angles, and that's the key to this sport." Andrade (pronounced "AN-drayd") grew up in the Providence area among the city's sizable Cape Verdean population. His father and grandmother speak Portuguese to each other, and he picked up enough of the language and its Spanish similarities to help him out when his amateur success took him around the globe. He was introduced to his sport at the 401 Boxing Gym after his father decided he was too aggressive for karate classes, and Boo Boo quickly became obsessed. The only time he remembers crying in his tween years was when his parents banned him from the gym for acting up at school. Andrade won U.S. championships in 2005 and 2006, along with Golden Gloves titles. Though injuries prevented him from winning the U.S. crown in 2007, he demolished everybody at the Olympic team trials and the world championships to establish himself as the strong Beijing medal favorite. Andrade could have turned pro in 2006, and some people in his circle urged him to do so. The pull of Olympic honor was too great. "I had an older brother that fought, and he turned pro early, and now he doesn't fight any more," Andrade said. "My dad never really forced anything on us. He supported us in whatever we did, and I was always thinking about what the gold medal would be like." Still, dreams of the future pulled at Andrade every day during the U.S. team's yearlong residency program in Colorado Springs. He misses his 2-year-old daughter, Autumn, whose birth hardened his work ethic, and he can't wait to get back to being a father in Providence after the trip to China. His teammates describe him as an uncommonly frustrating fighter, even in a sparring session. His defensive reflexes remind some of Floyd Mayweather Jr., though Andrade is taller and rangier than the former bronze medalist. Andrade credits his skill to his father and co-coach David Keefe. Although Campbell has clashed with the parents and local coaches of several U.S. fighters who don't want to surrender control to a national team coach, he's got no problem with Paul Andrade. "His dad is a very good coach when it comes to technical things, and that's something that gets left out of a lot of amateur fighters' training," Campbell said. Andrade has been seasoned by a robust travel schedule to tournaments from Moscow to Chicago. Though he prefers "warm weather, good food" destinations like Venezuela over Azerbaijan, he prides himself on being able to adapt to anything. "I'm well-traveled at the age of 20," Andrade said. "Every year there were different things I had to learn about cultures, about how the world really goes around. It just made me glad to be from the United States." Erislandy Lara, the Cuban gold medalist from Athens, would have been Andrade's top rival in Beijing after they met in a lively bout in Brazil last year, but Andrade's path cleared when Lara was abruptly kicked off the Cuban team for attempting to defect during the Pan-Am Games. He's now a professional after escaping to Mexico and Germany earlier in the summer. With Lara gone, the rest of the field doesn't have Andrade's talent or pedigree - and Campbell thinks those boxers probably know it. "He doesn't even know his own talent," Campbell said. "They're not going to try to box him. They're going to try to rough him up, get him frustrated. I think he'll know how to handle it. He's handled everything else really well." (Pilot Online)

It looks like SouthCoast boxing fans will have someone to cheer in Beijing, China, next summer.Demetrius "Boo-Boo" Andrade of Providence, with whom local fight fans may be familiar from his appearances in the Southern New England Golden Gloves, won the 152-pound division at last month's Olympic Trials in Houston. He only needs to finish in the top 16 in his division at the World Championships in Chicago (Oct. 23-Nov. 3) to secure a spot in the 2008 Olympics. A two-time national champion in both the Golden Gloves and the U.S. Boxing tournaments, the 19-year-old is considered by those close to the Olympic boxing scene as one of the U.S. team's best bets to medal in Beijing. "Representing America means everything to me," Andrade said after his success in the Trials. "Not everybody in this world gets a chance to have this opportunity, you know. Most don't even get to see what it looks like at this level. So I'm going to try my hardest. I'm going to fight the best I can, and I'll have my family and my coach, David Keith, in China to support me." The first time I saw Andrade fight in Fall River, I was greatly impressed with not only his skills, but his poise in the ring. (And that was before I learned he was only 16.) He has since participated in several international tournaments, winning a silver in this summer's Pan-American Games that probably should have been gold. "It was one of those hometown political decisions," said Paul Morrissette, the Southern New England Golden Gloves tournament director and manager of the New England team. "He lost 7-6 (to Pedro Lima of Brazil) and had a point deducted for throwing his opponent down, but that was because the other kid kept grabbing him. He didn't want to fight. He just wanted to grab." Morrissette likes to tell the story of a sparring session between Andrade and pro boxer Paulie Malignaggi of Brooklyn, N.Y., a couple of years ago at Peter Manfredo's gym in Pawtucket. Malignaggi, who won the IBF junior welterweight world title last June, was looking for sparring partners and had come to Manfredo's gym at the invitation of Andrade's father. "Malignaggi came in real cocky, complaining that he couldn't get any quality sparring partners in New England, like there wasn't any good fighters around here," recounted Morrissette. "He was wearing a sweat suit and didn't even bother to take the top off for his sparring session with Boo-Boo, like Boo-Boo wasn't good enough to make him break a sweat. I told Boo-Boo, 'If you don't do anything else, at least make him take that damn sweat suit off.'" After a couple rounds, Andrade did just that, getting Malignaggi to take off the top. "Then they went back at it and Boo-Boo dropped him, a clean knockdown. 'No, no, that was a slip,' yelled Malignaggi, but after they were through, he admitted it was a knockdown."The kid can fight,' he said." (South Coast Today)

Reigning AIBA World welterweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade is prospecting for gold in China. The 20-year-old from Providence isn’t there to visit the The Great Wall, purchase a Ming vase in the Temple of Heaven, picnic in Tian’anmen Square, or cruise down the Yangtze River. Andrade is Team USA’s most promising hope to medal in the Olympic boxing competition. “It’s crazy,” he said right before leaving Colorado Springs training camp, “but everything’s good. I’m relaxed, stayed out of the public eye, and have remained focused on winning a gold medal. I’m not happy just being in The Olympics, or even winning a silver or bronze medal; I’m going for gold.” His gold medal performance at this year’s AIBA World Championships catapulted him into the No. 1 ranking in the world at 152-pounds. Andrade’s toughest competition figures to come from Asian champion Bakhyt Sarsekbayev (Kazakhstan), World Championships silver medalist Non Boonjumnong (Thailand), as well as bronze medalists Adem Kilicci (Turkey) and Hmati Silamu (China), European champion Andrey Balnov (Russia), and of course, Cuba’s representative, Carlos Banteur. The Olympic draw doesn’t matter to him because Demetrious believes he’s the best 152-pound amateur in the world. He defeated Boonjumnong and Kilicci in the World Championships. “Nobody they put in front of me can beat me,” a confident Andrade offered. “Only the judges can beat me and I’m not going to let them. I’m going to take the other fighters and judges out of it by beating my opponents so badly that they can’t take a decision away from me. I’ll stay on the outside, use my tough defense, and not allow any cheap shots. I’ve been fighting internationally for awhile and I’ve been robbed a few times. But I can’t let anybody beat me in The Olympics. “I’d prefer to get the tougher guys out early – second or third round – and have one less contender for the medal rounds. I really don’t know or care who I draw. Everybody else is fighting for second place.” Proud to represent the red, white and blue, “Boo Boo” has dreamed about boxing in the Olympics since he first laced-up a pair of gloves. He is a two-time U.S. National Championships winner and double National Golden Gloves champion who cruised through the U.S. Boxing Trials preceding the World Championships. “It feels good to be called an ambassador,” Andrade reflected. “I used to be a little kid dreaming of being in the Olympics and now I’m talking to kids with the same dream. I tell them to never let anybody say no to their dreams. It feels great to represent the United States, Rhode Island, Providence, family and friends. “I haven’t worried about anything. Inside the ring is another environment with just you and your opponent. I’ve been focusing on the physical part of boxing. My (co-coaches) dad (Paul Andrade) and Dave Keefe have helped me all of the other stuff. Impacted wisdom teeth and the best amateur boxers in the world couldn’t stop Demetrius at the World Championships. Now, he’s digging deep for gold in China. (Unlimited Fight News)

As Mike Reiss noted in Sunday's Boston Globe football notes column, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has developed an admiration for Rhode Island boxer Demetrius Andrade, who is bound for the Olympics in Beijing. Belichick was introduced to the 20-year-old Andrade through a former Wesleyan classmate. The coach watched some of the fighter's pats bouts, and he's going to be pulling for Andrade this month. "I was impressed by how many matches he's already fought for such a young kid and how he's been up against men a bit older than he is," Belichick said. (ProJo Blogs)

Some of the greatest human-interest stories come from those U.S. athletes with ties to Africa. Demetrius Andrade, whose nickname of “Boo Boo” seems slightly incongruous for a welterweight boxer, is of Cape Verdean descent. He hails from Providence, Rhode Island, home to many immigrants from this island nation located off Africa’s west coast. Andrade won the gold at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2007 and hopes for a repeat performance this year in Beijing. (America.Gov)

Demetrius Andrade, 20, is the top-rated amateur welterweight in the world and the odds-on favorite to win a gold medal in Beijing. The Providence, R.I., native is a tall (6-foot-1-inch), rangy southpaw with good power, fast hands, and a solid chin. He's the 2007 World Amateur Champion, a two-time National Amateur Champion, two-time National Golden Gloves Champion, and the best pro prospect on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. (NY Sun)

If you haven't seen Demetrius Andrade box then check out the video below of the AIBA Amateur Finals, where Andrade went to town on Non Boonjumnong to win. Andrade is lighting quick with the combinations and I feel bad for all those kids my younger cousin said Andrade used to get in fights with in middle school, when they had no idea he was a boxer.

No comments:

Post a Comment