On September 19, in Florence (Italy), WBO Global welterweight champion ‘Spartan’ Dario Morello (Italy, 15-0 with 2 wins within the distance) will defend the belt for the first time against ‘Black Panther’ Luther Clay (U.K. via South Africa, 11-1 with 5 KOs).
Morello is very confident: “I saw some videos of Luther’s fights and so did my father Ercole who is my coach. Luther is a good fighter, but we know how to defeat him. The WBO belt will stay in Italy.” Morello is already looking at his next goal: the EBU European welterweight title.
“When I watch the fights of European champion David Avanesyan, I imagine myself in the ring against him. I know that I can beat him.” Dario Morello is a former Italian welterweight champion and won many titles as amateur.
His nickname ‘Spartan’ originated in his amateur days: “I was fighting in Ukraine and I lost the first round 1-7. In those days the judges used the scoring machines and being 6 points behind after the first round meant losing the fight.
“I won the second and the third rounds and the fight. One of the spectators told me that I was tough like a Spartan because I didn’t give up. From that day on, ‘Spartan’ became my nickname.”
Luther Clay isn’t impressed by Morello’s confidence in himself: “Dario is a good fighter and I respect him, but I will be WBO Global champion on September 19. I don’t look past this fight.
The EBU European welterweight belt is not my interest now. I’m training to beat Dario and that’s all I’m thinking about.” The nickname ‘Black Panter’ doesn’t have anything to do with the movie that was a box-office smash last year: “I decided to use it as nickname long before the movie hit the theaters. I like the black panther and I thought it would suit me fine as a nickname.”
The September 19 event is promoted by Opi Since 82, Matchroom Boxing Italy and DAZN which will stream it live. The location is Tuscany Hall, a beautiful theater which can seat 1,200 spectators.