Interview with Librado Andrade: “My Day is Gonna Come!”
By John Pullman, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 19, 2009)  
The battle tested Librado Andrade has been dealing with rough roads his whole life, a little challenge is nothing new to him. Born in Jesus Del Monte, Guanajuato, Mexico, Andrade’s mother later relocated her family to La Habra California. As a young teenager, it was there Librado took up boxing at the nearby La Habra boxing gym. As an amateur, the rough body punching Andrade had little to no success. The only thing that kept him boxing was the luxury of traveling to a new city, and the after fight meal at McDonalds that his trainer Dave Martinez would take him to.

But with a big heart and determination, eventually Librado showed some promise and a style served better as a professional. He then went on a 24 fight win streak. That’s right! He beat every man that was put in front of him in his first 24 fights. That is saying something, because let’s not forget, Librado is not an Olympian, hell, he is not even an Amateur National Champion, so it is not like his opponents were hand picked.

And even though it was not easy, Librado would not change his past for the world. “I am competing against all these guys that have over 200 fights in the amateurs, they were stars in the amateurs going into the pro ranks, already with a belt around their waist, it is just a couple of fights and a matter of time before they are a World Champion.” States the confident Andrade. “I had to work from zero for mine! That’s the beautiful thing from my side, Dave keeps telling me and Howard keeps telling me ‘Librado, I prefer a guy like you over a hundred guys like that because we start from zero and this means much more than that!’”

After beating a lot of those amateur champions Librado found himself in Denmark standing across from Mikkel Kessler getting ready to fight for a World Title. He did his best and went twelve hard rounds with the Champ, eventually losing a decision. What did he do next?

He showed his character and got right back to work, going on a 3 fight winning streak, getting back in line for another title shot. This time Librado traveled to Montreal to take on the IBF Super Middleweight Champion of the World, Lucian Bute, and it ended in controversial fashion. Librado who seemed to be behind on the scorecards was catching up with Bute toward the second half of the fight. “After the 5th round I thought for sure I got this guy,” said Andrade.

In the 12th and final round Andrade dropped Bute and seemed to have him out. Halfway through his count the referee stopped his count to warn Andrade, giving Bute time to get to his feet and semi recover.

Andrade continues, “Everybody saw the last fight, it was unpredictable … Nobody thought what happened was gonna happen … Everybody except me. I did a press tour over there last week and they were talking about he made a mistake, I don’t think he made a mistake, I just caught up with him … But whatever the case is it’s ok.”

The first Andrade/Bute bout had some resemblance to another extremely famous, controversial fight. Librado gives his thoughts on the topic. “I saw the Meldrick Taylor and Chavez fight more than I have seen mine, and there is no way that Bute was in better shape than Meldrick Taylor and they stopped that fight. The whole 12th round I was thinking this guy (the referee) was gonna stop the fight … I was hesitant to throw the definitive punch because I thought this guy (the referee) was gonna stop the fight, the referee was so close to us he could see everything, but it seemed that he was in no hurry to stop this fight, he was in no hurry to count … He was just waiting for the bell to ring I guess.”

The final bell rang and Bute won a unanimous decision. It seemed as though Andrade had come up just short again. Librado continues, “immediately after the fight, I was thinking, it’s not gonna happen tonight, tonight is not my time … If I didn’t win that day all it meant is that I have to go back to the gym and get better …. I have faith that my day is gonna come, but not today … So I am gonna go back in line and do it again.”

And that’s what he did. Librado beat Vitali Tsypko in April of this year and now he finds himself in position for a rematch against Bute for the IBF Belt. “I am just trying to have as much fun as I can. It’s been a hard road for me but whatever has happened in the past, it’s done. And now we just got to look ahead and it’s a brand new chance for the World Title, and with all my heart I am gonna go after that title. I don’t care if it’s Bute, if it’s Carl Froch, if it’s Kessler again; I am going after my chance for the World Title.”

With the Middleweight Super Six Classic about to kick off, Andrade is not concerned or bothered that he was not included. “I am not mad … I didn’t even know about the tournament until it was basically done … Regardless I got my chance at the World Title and that is my main goal. There is still a lot of guys out there … Bika, Miranda … Allan Green, I mean there is still another super six out there, there is plenty of competition. My mind is not on that at all, my mind is on the World Title and just to get better.”

Two weeks away from starting the biggest training camp of his life, Librado remains grateful for his past and is focused on his future. “I am happy with all of this, thank God I have been very successful in boxing … In the name of all my family we are gonna get that World Title man!”

After all the trials and tribulations Andrade has dealt with in life, he still holds a positive outlook. That outlook put together with unbelievable perseverance is the reason why he is so successful. He truly believes his time is coming. I believe his time is here. I don’t know if Librado realizes the enormous effect he has on the youth of La Habra. From the seasoned 16 year old amateur that watches Librado spar in awe, to the 10 year old beginner who tries to go punch for punch with Librado on the bag, he instils hope and inspiration. Librado is the epitome of a Champion at life and his time to be a World Boxing Champion just may be on November 29th 2009.

Thanks to the gracious and humble Librado Andrade for taking the time to speak with me.

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