Andrade heads on Olympian journey

PROVIDENCE (September 24, 2006) - One of America's brightest stars for its boxing future, 18-year-old prodigy Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade, leaves his Providence home this week for the first leg of what he hopes will be his Olympian journey, competing in the 2006 National Police Athletic League (PAL) Championships in Oxnard, California.

"I want to make the 2008 Olympic team and bring home a gold medal from China," the speedy Andrade confidently said. "My long range goal is to become a world champion as a pro and retire undefeated. The first step, though, is at the PALs."

Andrade, the No. 1 rated welterweight in the U.S. for the past two years, is the two-time U.S. National Championships and 2006 National Golden Gloves champion. The PALs (September 30-October 7) is the first of several qualifiers for the US Boxing Trials, a prelude to the US Box-Offs that determines berths on the 2008 US Olympic Boxing Team.

PAL winners automatically qualify in their respective weight classes for the U.S. Trials. In Oxnard, Andrade will compete in the same 152-pound division he has dominated in the U.S. for the past two years. His main competition figures to come from Fernando Guerrero and Boyd Melson, who Demetrius defeated in this year's National Golden Gloves and The Nationals, respectively, as well as top rated welterweights such as Charles Hatley, Greg Carter, Peter Haro and Keith Thurman.

"I'm taking things one step at a time," the slick southpaw Andrade added, "but after I qualify at 152 pounds, I may box in some of the other qualifiers at 165 pounds (where he recently lost a close decision in the championship match at the National Under-19 Tournament). I'm 6-0 and the Olympics are two years away. If I'm having a problem making 152, I may try to make the Olympic team as a middleweight. The weight class I'm more comfortable in and have the best chance at medaling will be what I choose in the U.S. Boxing Trials."

Andrade sports an approximate 128-21 amateur record and boxes out of 401 Gym in Cranston.

Article posted on 25.09.2006

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