Middleweight world titlist Demetrius Andrade signs four-fight extension with Matchroom Boxing

Middleweight world titlist Demetrius Andrade has taken care of an important piece business outside of the ring a week before he attempts to handle important business inside the ring.

Andrade has signed a four-fight contract extension with Matchroom Boxing, announcing the deal on Thursday, a week before he will defend his 160-pound crown against Luke Keeler on Jan. 30 in the main event of a DAZN card at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami. The Keeler bout will count as the first fight of the new deal, according to Matchroom Boxing.

"I'm delighted to have signed an extension to my deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA," Andrade said. "We have had a great 18 months [together] and we've got plans to have an even bigger 2020 and 2021.

"I've matured in the ring as I've been more active and sometimes I think if these [top] guys had fought me before they might have had a better chance against me, but now they are giving me the time to sign with Eddie and DAZN, get active and fight four times, sharpen the tools and get the ring rust off. So, when it comes their time, it's going to be hell for them."

Andrade, a 2008 U.S. Olympian and former two-time junior middleweight world titlist before vacating to move up in weight, had been co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Star Boxing for his entire career until buying out the remainder of that contract and signing with Matchroom Boxing in late 2018.

Under that deal, Andrade (28-0 17 KOs), 31, of Providence, Rhode Island, was as busy as he had been in years. He boxed three times in eight months, winning a vacant middleweight belt by near-shutout decision against Walter Kautondokwa in the first fight of the stretch and defending it twice -- by 12th-round knockout of Artur Akavov last January and by one-sided decision against Maciej Sulecki in June in Andrade's first hometown professional fight.

Next the southpaw Andrade will face Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs), 32, of Ireland, mainly because he has been unable to lure other top middleweights into the ring, including titleholders Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, both of whom are also signed to DAZN, which would make putting the fights together relatively easy -- if either man were interested in facing Andrade.

Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn has also said that he offered world titlist Jermall Charlo, who is with Premier Boxing Champions but not signed to a promoter, around $7 million to fight Andrade with no strings attached in a one-off fight but was turned down.

"As long as I am building my legacy, performing the way I need to perform and people are loving my style and the things I am doing, I am not worried about anything else as the fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me," Andrade said.

Hearn said one of his priorities is to land a major fight for Andrade during this deal.

"I am thrilled to have signed an extension to Demetrius' deal," Hearn said. "Demetrius is one of the best 160-pound fighters in the world and now is the time to deliver him the fights against the other elite middleweights."