by Jesse Ian Lardies
Mexican born Librado Andrade finds himself in his 35th professional bout this Saturday, April 21, live on Showtime Extreme fighting on the undercard of the Abner Mares – Eric Morel “Battle on the Border” card at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas.
In his first showing inside of a squared circle in roughly eight months, Andrade (30-4-KO23) takes on number 94 ranked Central Floridian, Rowland Bryant. The 32 year old Bryant (15-1-KO10) has spent much of his 9 year career fighting at light heavyweight and against opponents who have mostly losing ledgers.
The Altamonte Springs, Florida resident has taken two extended hiatuses from prize fighting: First in the end of 2006, in which he returned in January of 2009 to face fistic fodder, Demetrius Davis (with whom he dropped a 6th round unanimous decision), resurfacing again late in 2011 to knock out an 0-13 contender in the first round of a scheduled four. Bryant has yet to fight above 6 rounds.
Librado Andrade is probably best known for his efforts against the IBF undefeated super middleweight champion, Lucian Bute. Losing on all three scorecards of their infamous 2008 bout, Andrade summoned all of his Mexican fighting spirit and somehow ground the Romanian born, Canadian favorite down in the closing moments of the twelfth round in front of a capacity crowd of 16,300. The blood thirsty, pro-Bute throng was in an understandable uproar as Andrade, in the final seconds of their well-documented first battle, knocked their champion down and seemingly out from some well-directed blows to the obviously gassed champion’s head. Bute was allowed to finish the fight on his feet due to an extraordinarily long count courtesy of home town ref, Marlon Wright.
In the highly anticipated rematch almost one year later, Librado Andrade was knocked down in the fourth round by a powerful uppercut only to be stopped moments later by a brutal left hook to the mid-section.