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.”