Miami Fight Night was electric. YouTube stars, professional athletes and celebrities packed the Meridian at Island Gardens on Thursday night ahead of the big game in Miami, and live on DAZN. Thousands in attendance witnessed undefeated middleweight star Demetrius Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) earn a 9th-round stoppage victory over contender Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs). Andrade defended his WBO World Middleweight title for the fourth time tonight and called out WBO World Super Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders and WBC World Middleweight Titlist Jermall Charlo after his dominating performance.
In the chief support bout, Jake “The Problem Child” Paul put on a show in his professional debut with a dominating first-round TKO victory over “7-Figure Gibber” AnEsonGib. Paul is on a mission to avenge the loss his brother Logan suffered to KSI in November 2019. After the fight, KSI entered the ring and the two exchanged words as they continue along their inevitable collision course.
Earlier in the evening, JoJo Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs) bested Tevin Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision to claim the IBF Super Featherweight Title. Diaz was cut by an accidental head butt in the second round but persevered to claim his first world title. Super Bantamweight phenom Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) toppled Daniel Roman (27-3-1, 10 KOs) to capture the WBA and IBF Super Bantamweight titles in the first world championship fight of the evening. Akhmadaliev, in just his eighth professional fight, catapults himself into the record books as he ties Leon Spinks as the fastest male unified world champion in history.
Quotes from Miami
On his performance: “I thought it was good. Luke Keeler is a warrior, a future champion. But not today, today was my day. I took him to deep waters and I sunk him.”
On his game plan: “I went in there and thought I could put him out. So I took him out. I showed him I am not delusional. I got more knockdowns than I do fights, baby. I am entertaining. You gotta love it, I come to put on a show every time.”
On wanting the big fights: “Listen, I wanted to go up to 168 to fight Billy Joe ‘Joke-Ass’ Saunders and that’s what I am looking to do. Since Eddie has that big checkbook, that big bank, give Billy that check too so I can whoop his ass.”
On Jermall Charlo: “I’m not giving up on that. Eddie Hearn sent the offer and didn’t get a response. If they want to send an offer this way, we will respond. Let’s get it on, Jermall. The boogeyman is here, baby.”
Joseph “JoJo” Diaz
On his performance: “I think I needed to learn from the adversity that God put me through. I want to be an influence. You can overcome anything if you believe. I stayed focused and I got the W this time.”
On how the cut impacted his approach: “It didn’t change the fight at all. I just pretended it wasn’t there. I just see it right now and that shit is f**king deadly. It’s ugly as hell. I think in the second round we clashed heads and it started leaking. But I am a warrior, fighting through that is what champions do. This is my only opportunity, I had to take advantage of it.”
On how he adjusted after the cut: “If I would’ve changed the game plan due to the cut, I would have gotten tight. I would’ve gotten tense and then tired in the later rounds. I trusted my corner and kept my composure.”
On Tevin being more offensive than usual: “I just want to say that Tevin Farmer is a hell of a fighter. He has been through everything. He has been shot in the head, he has four losses and came back. He battled back in his career. I know we are going to have a rematch.”
On rematch clause: “Yeah, I will talk to my manager and Golden Boy Promotions and see what they want to do. I am just so excited. I have been dreaming about this moment for a long time. I want to thank my friends and family and everyone who came out here tonight to support me.”
On his performance: “He put up a hell of a fight. That’s all I can say. I messed my hand up in the first round, you could probably tell. But he fought a hell of a fight. I couldn’t use my jab the way I wanted. There’s no excuses though. He capitalized on the injury. He must have seen it and that’s what champions do.
On the rematch: “We will do this again. I want the immediate rematch. I hope we can do it in April or May, or whenever the team decided to run it back.”
On his performance: “I cannot describe what I am feeling. I have never been a world champion, not even in the amateurs. It never happened for me. Now I am the first in the history of Uzbekistan to be the unified champion. This is something incredible.”
On never going the distance before: “First of all, Danny Roman is the most proven 122-pounder in the world. He has been in wars in his career. I was preparing for the best in my division. It was a hell of a fight and Danny was even better than I expected. It was a great fight.”
On his performance: “I think I won the fight, at least by a point. It was a close fight. MJ is a hell of a fighter – a strong fighter. I made the adjustments but I just came up short.”
On his game plan: “MJ is a complicated fighter. I had a plan but at the last minute it changed. He was the better man tonight.
On what’s next: “I am a fighter, i will fight anyone they put in front of me. MJ was my WBA mandatory and it cost me a lot to get that belt so I wanted to keep it. But we can learn a lot in victory and a lot in defeat. I would like a rematch if MJ will give me one. This is going to make me stronger, just like the other two losses did for me.”
On his performance: “That was lit. I caught the boxing bug. I put the work in and I am in love with this sport. With my power and speed, I was able to take him out in the first round.”
On his greatest attribute: “I dedicated the past three months of my life to this up in Big Bear, California with Shane Mosley. I worked my balls off with two-a-days. You said this was my best competitor – ‘he’s 2-0, he has energy, he has stamina, he is the beast from the Middle East.’ I took him out in one round. I didn’t even get to showcase my full boxing ability. It was all natural extinct once it started.”
On the knockdowns: “The first knockdown was a jab. One thing we worked on in camp was really, really stiff jabs. My jab has that right hand power behind it. This is surreal. Shane Mosley told me it was going to end in one round. I started visualizing the first round knockout and it happened.”
On what’s next: “KSI is next. Where is he at? He is getting clocked. I didn’t have to win by two points like him. You see your best friend? You beat my brother by a bad call. Let’s make it happen.”
On Jake seeking to avenge his loss against KSI: “I think Jake proved tonight that it is all about him. This has nothing to do with me. It’s hella noble that he wants to redeem the Paul name. But I just think he is doing a great job. I will back him on that mission. Whatever my brother needs, I got him. I want to make it happen. DAZN, make it happen!”
12-Round WBO Middleweight Title Bout @160 lbs.
Demetrius Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) defeated Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs) via TKO at 2:59 of Round 9.
6-Round Cruiserweight Bout @ 193 lbs.
Jake Paul (1-0) defeated AnEsonGib (0-1) via TKO at 2:18 of Round 1.
12-Round IBF Super Featherweight Title Bout @ 130 lbs.
JoJo Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs) defeated Tevin Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs) via unanimous decision (115-113 x2, 116-112)
12-Round WBA & IBF Super Bantamweight Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) defeated Daniel Roman(27-3-1, 10 KOs) via split decision (115-113 x2, 113-115)
Boxing on DAZN continues when rising lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia looks to defend his WBC Silver Lightweight Title against Francisco Fonseca at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on Feb. 14 – live on DAZN.