Boxing

Morrell to Benavidez: I’m Gonna Make You My B***h!

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Undefeated Cuban WBA super middleweight “regular” world champion David Morrell Jr. didn’t take too kindly to being called a “b**ch” live on worldwide television last Saturday night.

After David Benavidez walked through former world champ David Lemieux in two rounds in front of a raucous hometown Phoenix-area crowd, the Mexican-American former two-time world champ made some waves with in his post-fight interview.

“I’m waiting for [Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo, David Morrell] to sign the contract,” an amped-up Benavidez told Showtime’s Jim Gray when asked about the list of available next challenges. “Them b**ches know what’s up. I’m right here waiting for them. I’ll put myself up against everyone. I guarantee I’m knocking everyone out.”

“I ain’t no b**ch and you’re going to find out,” Morrell said in a message issued to media just a few days later. “I’m from Cuba and I’m not afraid to fight you. I’ve beaten bigger and better fighters than you. So right after this fight I got coming up, get your a** ready.”

Morrell is set to defend his WBA belt against Kalvin Henderson on Showtime’s Stephen Fulton-Daniel Roman undercard June 4. The ultra-confident 24-year-old insists, however, that he’s more than ready to meet Benavidez’s blanket challenge.

“I have business to handle on June 4th against Henderson, a fight I’m taking very seriously,” Morrell said. “After that, I’m on the hunt for Benavidez’s head. There is no b**ch in me, after my fight, I’m gonna make you my b**ch. No need to talk no more. I’m gonna show you better than I can tell you…see you soon B**CH!”

The supremely talented and skilled Morrell is only 6-0, but has already earned a reputation as one of the very best in the 168 lb. class. The native of Santa Clara, Cuba, who now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, captured the interim WBA super middleweight title in only his third pro fight and won the “regular” world title in just his fifth bout. He’s yet to face anyone even remotely in David Benavidez’s league, but he’s absolutely dominated everyone he’s faced as a pro so far, including pretty solid fighters like Lennox Allen, Mario Cazares, and Alantez Fox. Knowledgeable boxing people universally regard him as an elite-level talent.

The 25-year-old David Benavidez, meanwhile, is also regarded as an elite-level talent. A child prodigy of sorts, Benavidez made his pro debut at 16 years of age and, at 20, became the youngest world champion in the history of the super middleweight division. Two personal slip-ups have earned the Phoenix native the odd distinction of having lost his title twice without having ever lost in the ring. In 2018, he was stripped of his WBC world title after he tested positive for cocaine. Two years later, after regaining his belt in a stoppage of Anthony Dirrell, he was stripped again, prior to his first defense, for not making weight.

Considered one of the best offensive fighters in the game, Benavidez, who has a record of 26-0 with 23 KOs, affirmed that reputation by walking right through the usually tough and always game Lemieux this past May 21.

So, will the stage now be set for Benavidez-Morrell?

One would certainly hope so. The pairing would be an explosive matchup between two of the most talented young fighters in boxing. Both have major chips on their shoulders and a burning desire to prove their greatness, so the action would be guaranteed fierce. Benavidez-Morrell on the way up the ladder to Canelo Alvarez is just common sense.

But, of course, this is boxing and common sense isn’t always all that common. Time will tell whether this rivalry finds its way into a ring or if it simply turns into social media drama.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com