David Morrell Jr. vs. Sena Agbeko: Going Out With A Bang

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Two explosive punchers will cap off an incredible year for boxing when David Morrell Jr. defends his super middleweight title against Sena Agbeko Saturday night on SHOWTIME.

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Morrell vs Agbeko PREVIEW: December 16, 2023 | PBC on SHOWTIME

This Saturday, December 16, live on SHOWTIME from The Armory in Minneapolis, undefeated WBA Super Middleweight Champion and Minneapolis fan-favorite David Morrell Jr. (9-0, 8 KOs) takes on power puncher Sena Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs) atop a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) features the anticipated rematch between 135-pound contenders Chris “Primetime” Colbert and Jose “Rayo” Valenzuela in a 12-round WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator co-main event. Opening up the telecast, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and Andre Berto battle in a 10-round welterweight special attraction. This show will be the final boxing telecast from SHOWTIME SPORTS after 37 years.

The Story

David Morrell Jr. is universally regarded as one of the top young talents in the sport and a “can’t miss” future next-level star. 

A product of Cuba’s famed amateur program, Morrell defected from his home country to pursue greatness on the world stage. In 2020, in his third pro bout and just one year into the start of his professional career, he captured the vacant interim WBA super middleweight title via one-sided unanimous decision over then-undefeated veteran Lennox Allen. He would be elevated to full champ status shortly after that.

The 25-year-old has defeated all eight of his other opponents inside the distance, showcasing a quick-fisted offensive dominance that borders on other-worldly. In his most recent bout, on the undercard of Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia in April, he squashed Brazilian Olympic Bronze medalist Yamaguchi Falcao in one round.

Morrell, who trains under the guidance of trainer Ronnie Shields in Texas, will be fighting at the Armory for the sixth time in his young career, for the Minneapolis fans who have adopted him as one of their own.

Sena Agbeko is a native of Ghana who now fights out of Nashville, Tennessee. 

Originally booked to face Morrell on the high-profile Davis-Garcia undercard, a medical licensing issue with the Nevada State Athletic Commission led to him being replaced by Falcao.

Agbeko would fume publicly about the lost opportunity and blast Team Morrell, claiming that politics were behind his removal and that they simply feared him as an opponent for the rising star. 

The 31-year-old is 5-0 with 4 knockouts since a 2021 decision loss to well-regarded contender Vladimir Shishkin. In this current run, Agbeko would notch high-water mark victories over Winfred Harris Jr. and Isaiah Steen in 2022. In his most recent bout, this past October, Agbeko blasted away Bruno Leonardo Romay in two rounds.

The Stakes

At stake is Morrell’s WBA Super Middleweight Title as well as a top spot in the deep and lucrative super middleweight division.

The Matchup

Morrell is a truly gifted boxing prodigy, blessed with superior hand speed and reflexes. Brought up in the iconic Cuban amateur boxing system, he has poise and ring maturity beyond his years, as well as the confidence that goes along with his experience. 

Equal parts fluid and explosive, he’s a nearly perfect offensive weapon with a varied arsenal of punches  that he can launch from seemingly all angles and an absolute fearlessness when it comes to engaging.

He works well from the inside and outside and has thus far been flawless in controlling both the pace and space of his bouts.

On defense, Morrell is intuitive and improvisational, using head movement and his next-level reflexes to stay out of harm’s way. 

Now that the fight is on, I’m going to punish him. Undefeated WBA Super Middleweight World Champion - David Morrell Jr.

Agbeko is a physically strong, naturally aggressive fighter with a lionhearted demeanor and a still-improving skill set.

Employing a choppy, sometimes awkward style, he comes forward and sets up his offense with a jab that ranges from probing/prodding to stiff. He tends to wing his power shots but has heavy enough hands to make an impact with most everything he lands. 

Defensively, Agbeko has some significant flaws, notably a penchant for keeping his chin high and exposed during exchanges. A sturdy chin and an ability to muscle his opponents into reverse, however, have helped him offset his weaknesses.

The Words 

David Morrell Jr.

“It’s a great honor to be fighting in the main event on SHOWTIME’s final show, especially in Minneapolis at The Armory where I call home. I’m going to...give the fans a spectacular performance worthy of this occasion. I specifically asked for the Sena Agbeko fight because he was saying I was avoiding him. Now that the fight is on, I’m going to punish him.”

Sena Agbeko

“This fight against Morrell is career defining for me. It’s an opportunity to be etched in the history books, so it is absolutely important to me that I win. My objective is to use it as a catalyst to even greater fights next year against the very best in the division. Fight fans should definitely expect a thriller to end the year.”

The Breakdown

On skill and raw ability, alone, Morrell-Agbeko looks to be a mismatch. Realistically, nearly everyone would be overmatched in those areas when stacked up against the Cuban phenom. In boxing’s theater of the unexpected, though, there are many aspects that factor into the outcome of a fight.

The strong and durable Agbeko ticks off several boxes when it comes to guys who could upset apple carts and ruin plans. Rugged and tenacious, the Ghanaian is also the type of awkward opponent who can handcuff more highly-skilled fighters accustomed to smoother, more orderly boxing matches.

Against the southpaw Morrell, specifically, his looping right hand could be an effective weapon and an equalizer of sorts. 

But Morrell is just so talented in so many areas that it’s tough to see him meeting his match against anyone but the most elite in his weight class. He’ll have every conceivable edge coming into Saturday’s contest and will be looking to turn in yet another virtuoso performance.  

At the very least, Morrell-Agbeko should be an entertaining scrap for as long as it lasts, showcasing the challenger’s true grit against the champ’s blue chip pedigree.

For a closer look at Morrell vs Agbeko, check out our fight night page. 

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