As Trey Lippe Morrison makes his way through the early stages of his boxing career, there’s one constant that stays with the young heavyweight almost daily – the comparisons to his late father Tommy.
Tommy Morrison was a star on the biggest stage, who made a name for himself as a hard hitting Caucasian in a world full of African-bred champions who were the dominant force of the top division during the 1990’s.
Mixing it with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock, Pinklon Thomas, Michael Bentt, James Tillis, Ray Mercer and the great George Foreman with contrasting results, Morrison held the WBO title for a brief spell in 1993.
Starring in the Rocky franchise three years earlier gave ‘The Great White Hope’ his platform, although Tommy’s obvious talent kept him a regular feature against best fighters around until an untimely and much-publicised exit from the sport in 1996.
Now, through his son’s Trey and half-brother Kenzie Witt, Morrison’s legacy at 200 pounds plus lives on, and the former – who bears his father’s name on his trunks in the ring, knows only too well that he has a lot to live up to as he manoeuvres his way through the paid ranks.
“There’s always a little bit of pressure with him being my father because he was a great boxer,” Lippe Morrison told World Boxing News in an exclusive interview.
“You know I’m trying to live up to what he was. I know there will always be a little bit of pressure with that, but I have to try and focus on me – in boxing – because I’m a different person no matter if I’m his son or not and I’m going to be a different boxer too, you know.
“I’m sure there are things I do that are the same as he did, but there also those differences too, so I have to focus on me and make my own style and hopefully through that I’ll live up to his legacy.”
Ask whether titles were the inevitable next step for him to take, Trey, 26, admitted he still has a lot to learn in the sport that he only entered two years ago with absolutely no amateur experience whatsoever.
“Right now, I’m not even thinking about titles. I have a lot to gain and I lot to get better at so I have to prove myself in a lot of other aspects of boxing before I start thinking of titles. As far as pushing for those kind of things we’ll get there when I’m ready.”
On possessing his father’s power, which brought 42 knockouts from Tommy’s 48 wins, Lippe Morrison added: “I love getting knockouts and pleasing the fans, but I’m just going to get in the ring and box and do the best I can. I won’t focus on the knockout but if it happens, it happens. But I do love knockouts.”
Lippe Morrison is currently honing his skills with legendary trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California and hopes to be back in action around August as he aims for the twelfth career victory.