On Saturday, October 21, 2017, undefeated fighter, Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (23-0-1, 11 KOs) takes on two-time Junior Middleweight world champion, Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (24-0-0, 16 KOs) live on HBO.
For the Forestville, MD native Fox, the road to this big opportunity has been bumpy–filled with numerous different promoters and fights falling apart–but now that he’s got a marquee opponent in front of him, Fox plans to take full advantage.
“The journey itself has been immensely frustrating. Always with the fall outs of fights and stuff like that,” said Fox during a recent interview with Round By Round Boxing. “I’m just ready to finally weigh in and get this W.”
While Andrade’s struggles to get fights against the best in boxing have been more highly publicized, Fox has had an equally hard time locking down opponents and earning the respect he feels he deserves.
Troy Fox, Alantez’s father and head trainer, even jokingly calls his son the Rodney Dangerfield of boxing, because of the lack of respect the 6’4″ fighter gets in boxing circles.
When I mentioned to Fox that HBO didn’t even bother putting him on the promotional poster, Fox wasn’t surprised. Instead, he is relishing this moment and appreciates his underdog status.
“Being the underdog is amazing. It’s more pressure on him because people think he’s supposed to knock me out,” said Fox. “Also, being the underdog is the best because you can only exceed expectations. A lot of people don’t expect much from me, so when I go in there and I perform the way I promise I’ll perform, the entire time people are going to say, ‘Where the hell has this kid been at?’”
Fox was previously featured on the popular prospect ShoBox series on Showtime in 2015, a fight he won against then-undefeated fighter, Patrick Day. But since then Fox has mostly been featured on off-television undercards for Premier Boxing Champions shows and hasn’t been able to secure a fight with a big name.
“I myself have known about a fight date and just couldn’t get a contract signed with several different opponents. I think that frustrates my promoters as well,” said Fox who is now with his fourth promotional company, DiBella Entertainment. “We try to push guys to fight but they won’t want to fight. Even now with Lou DiBella he sees the frustrations. Big names just don’t want to go out there. It’s like it’s not worth the risk I guess.”
Fox’s bout against Andrade is scheduled for 12 rounds in the Middleweight division and will serve as the co-main event on an HBO Boxing After Dark triple-header from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
“To be here in this moment right here and in this fight right here I’m proud of myself, proud of my team, including my advisor Mike Borao and promoter Lou DiBella,” said Fox. “I’m just over zealous to make this sh*t happen and show the world that DC, we got ‘em out here.”
Without forgetting the journey, Fox is focused on the task at hand and is ready to put on a dazzling display of skill to show people just what they’ve been missing.
“For this fight right here I’m going to box my ass off until he gets on the inside,” said Fox. “And once he gets on the inside it’s just going to like ‘Damn, it was hard getting in here, and now it’s just as hard working on the inside.’”
Fox has prepared with fighters who present a number of different styles, including his younger brother Mykal Fox who is a slick boxer known as “The Professor” and is signed to King’s Promotions.
“We were already training with Luther [Smith] and staying in shape to spar with him because he’s a bigger guy,” said Fox. “I worked a little with Mykal, I got a few rounds in with him. Even though I’m bigger than him and I can hurt him, he makes me think more. I also sparred with a southpaw named Ron Stallings, a former UFC guy. He’s a southpaw who gave a whole different look. Also, Alex Rincon, he’s from NoXcuse gym. We got three hard days of sparring with him and he’s also going to be on the undercard.”
Fox owns a three-inch height advantage over Andrade, as well as nearly six inches in reach, but unlike his brother Mykal, who prefers to use his reach to pick opponents apart, Alantez doesn’t mind going off script and mixing it up on the inside.
“If we had to pick who is more technical it would have to be my brother,” said Fox. “I don’t mind getting in there and rumbling a little bit. The thing is Myke can do it, he just chooses not to. He likes to make it easy. And it’s not that I don’t like to make things easier, it’s just sometimes I like to rumble a little bit.”
Regardless of how he gets the job done, Fox know how important this opportunity is and hopes fans appreciate what he brings to the table.
“Every fight from here on in I’m going to box my ass off. I can move, I can bang, I can do everything and I make whatever adjustments I need to make,” said Fox. “Enjoy the shows—it’s just clinics and shows that we’re putting on. Myself and my brother, we’re the Fox Twin Towers, that’s what we do. We put on shows and clinics and that’s it.”
All photos by Ed Diller/Icon Sportswire
Alejandro "Alex" Burgos is a former Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Round By Round Boxing. He is a professional blogger, SEO Consultant and Marketing Director at Capital Practice Consulting in Washington, DC.