An impressive David Morrell Jr. continued his rise through the ranks after recording a fifth straight victory when stopping Mario Cazares early on.
The Cuban sensation and unbeaten WBA [Secondary] Super Middleweight Champion defeated challenger Cázares with a knockout just 2:32 into the first round of their contest.
Morrell vs. Cazares headlined FOX PBC Fight Night and FOX Deportes on Sunday from The Armory in Minneapolis.
“I didn’t expect that to end so quickly,” said Morrell. “I thought it would be more like a five or six-round fight.
However, once Cazares stepped in the ring, I noticed that he was not ready to fight on my level. He wasn’t ready for this kind of test or this level of fight.”
On the devastating knockout, Morrell said, “When I saw the opening, I took him out. When I hit him, I saw his legs wobble, and I knew he was gone, completely out.”
“I’m ready for anyone at 168 pounds, and now the world can see it,” continued Morrell.
“I would love to fight Caleb Plant. I’m ready to fight Plant. He’s an excellent boxer, but I’m ready to go.”
In the FOX telecast opener, All Rivera (22-5, 18 KOs) defeated Omar “El Relámpago” Juárez (11-1, 5 KOs) by majority decision in 10-round attraction, giving Juárez the first loss of his professional career.
Rivera scored a knockdown in the ninth frame, which was the difference in the contest as judge Scott Erickson scored the fight a 95-95 draw, but judge Octavio Rodriguez scored the bout 95-94 for Rivera, and Kyle Shiely scored the fight 95-93 for Rivera.
“I was confident that I was going to get the decision,” said Rivera. “But I was blocking a lot of the shots that Juárez was throwing. I was landing the more powerful punches. Juárez was doing good work in there, but we were landing the more effective shots. I feel like when I hurt him. I maybe could have done a little more to get him out of there early and avoid the decision. But he’s a stronger fighter, and I respect his talent.”
Juárez said, “I honestly thought that I did enough to get the win. I did get knocked down. There was one round where I stayed in there and took a couple of hits, but I felt like I was the smarter fighter in there. I adjusted well, and I thought I did well overall. Almost all of the greats have losses, and I know I will be great one day. I have to fight through this adversity.”
On their professional experience levels, Rivera said, “I’ve been in the ring 27 times now professionally, and I think Juárez is still a kid who’s developing his skills. I’ve fought some of the best fighters around. I’ve won belts. So, I definitely think my experience played a difference tonight.”
“He was the better man today,” Juárez concluded. “I’m not going to take anything away from him. He’s a hard fighter. He’s from the Philippines, which has a lot of strong fighters. I respect him a lot, but I’ll be back.”
When asked about the knockdown, Rivera said, “We actually worked on that shot in camp. We also worked on the follow-up sequence. So, when it landed, my corner wanted me to take it to the body to finish him, but he’s a tough fighter.
“I’m here for any 140-pound fighter that wants to step in there with me,” concluded Rivera.
In FS1 PBC Fight Night action, Nathaniel Gallimore (22-5-1, 17 KOs) defeated Leon Lawson (14-1, 7 KOs) by majority decision in a 10-round super welterweight showdown. Judge John Mariano scored 95-95, while judges Patrick Morley and Mike Fitzgerald scored the contest 96-94 and 97-93, respectively, for Gallimore. According to CompuBox, Gallimore landed 78 total punches to Lawson’s 66.
The FS1 co-feature showcased light heavyweight prospect Atif Oberlton (3-0, 3 KOs), scoring a technical knockout over Jasper McCargo (4-2-2, 2 KOs) at the:44 marks of the fifth round of their scheduled eight-round bout. Oberon landed a sequence of punches that sent McCargo to the canvas near the end of round four. Oberlton then jumped on McCargo early in the fifth round, landing a left to the beltline that buckled McCargo and forced referee Gary Miezwa to call a stop to the action.
The FS1 telecast opener featured super welterweight prospect Travon Marshall (2-0, 1 KO), defeating Ruben Torres (4-2, 1 KO) in a four-round contest. Marshall shut Torres out by unanimous decision (40-35, 40-35, 40-35).
The event was promoted by TGB Promotions and Warriors Boxing.