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 top division’s dominant force during the 1990s.
Mixing it with 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.
Three years earlier, staring in the Rocky franchise 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-publicized 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 maneuvers 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 myself – 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 they’re 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 got to get better at it, so I have to prove myself in many other aspects of boxing before I start thinking of titles. As far as pushing for those kinds 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.