The WBA Super Middleweight Champion remains unbeaten with masterful and brutal victory over previously-undefeated Aidos Yerbossynuly Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.
There is a serenity about David Morrell Jr. The southpaw Cuban expatriate does not need to settle into fights. He starts relaxed. If he isn’t bobbing, and weaving, and ducking, and punching, his velvet ring demeanor might imply he’s about to drift off with his gloves on.
Instead, Morrell is putting opponents to sleep.
It’s what he did on Saturday night for the seventh time in eight fights when Morrell stopped the courageous and previously unbeaten Aidos Yerbossynuly at 2:34 of the 12th round atop a Premier Boxing Champions event on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 24-year-old Morrell (8-0, 7 KOs) retained his secondary WBA super middleweight title in what was a masterful performance, the finest of his young career. .
“I told everyone at the press conference that the fight is mine,” Morrell said. “(Yerbossynuly) is strong...but it’s me, man. A knockout is a knockout, so if it’s in the eighth or 12th round, it’s whatever. It’s a knockout anyways.”
In the first round, Morrell quickly established his superior craftmanship with a right hook to the body, followed by a right uppercut to the head, which bounced Yerbossynuly’s head back.
Morrell was accurate and patient.
By the third round, Yerbossynuly (16-1, 11 KOs) had a cut on the bridge of his nose from a parade of Morrell lead lefts, right uppercuts, and straight lefts. By the fourth round, Yerbossynuly was a bloody pulp, turning Morrell’s white trunks into a pinkish hue.
After a slow fifth, Morrell started the sixth well, nailing Yerbossynuly with lead lefts and right jabs. But Yerbossynuly did land some body shots, which caused Morrell to work more flatfooted.
By the eighth, Yerbossynuly had closed the distance and tried crowding Morrell, whose work rate slowed, though he still managed to be more active than Yerbossynuly. Morrell was also circling Yerbossynuly.
In the opening minute of the ninth, Yerbossynuly pressured Morrell, shoveling rights to Morrell’s body and head inside. That stopped once Morrell popped Yerbossynuly’s head back with a right uppercut.
With 1:11 left in the ninth, Morrell flashed a quick smile, while Yerbossynuly seemed like he was gasping for any morsel of air he could absorb.
In the last minute of the 10th, Morrell had Yerbossynuly in trouble, landing a three-punch combination. With Yerbossynuly pinned against the ropes, a Morrell right, followed by a left to the chin, along with a right uppercut had Yerbossynuly backing up.
In the 12th, it was amazing that Yerbossynuly was still standing. That didn’t last long. For the first time in his career, Yerbossynuly stepped into the 12th round, and just 15 seconds into the frame, he was off his feet, down on the canvas for the third time in his career.
A Morrell straight left on Yerbossynuly’s chin planted him with 2:45 remaining in the fight. With :49 left, Yerbossynuly pinned Morrell against the ropes and refused to let go after referee Tony Weeks asked repeatedly to do so. That forced Weeks to take a point away from Yerbossynuly.
Finally, a Morrell right hook downed Yerbossynuly and Weeks wisely waved it over, while Yerbossynuly was out on his feet. In an incredible show of sportsmanship, Morrell grabbed Yerbossynuly, his faced smashed, his eyes swollen shut, and walked him back to his corner.
“I saw he was hurt at that moment and then the results came in, that knockdown came,” said Morrell. The results will come. As long as I listen to my corner, listen to my father, listen to my promoter, listen to everybody, the course will take its place.
“I want (David) Benavidez, but I don’t care. I’m ready for everybody.”
Brian Mendoza retires Jeison Rosario with a fifth-round knockout
Mendoza, a late replacement, clipped the former unified super welterweight world champion with a right uppercut that Rosario did not see with 2:36 left in the fifth. Rosario crumpled to the canvas and when he tried to get back up, he fell back down again.
The official time was :35 into the fifth round of their middleweight encounter.
“I think it’s time to say goodbye,” Rosario said. “I’m not fighting anymore. I’m going to retire. I have accomplished a lot, and it was good, but my career stops here.
“The most important thing is that I have my health. I feel a little bad that I couldn’t give the Dominican people the result they hoped for, but I love you all and I thank you for all the support through the years. I've got to give props to Brian Mendoza. He came and did his job.”
It was fourth knockout loss for Rosario (23-4-1, 17 KOs), while Mendoza (21-2, 15 KOs) won for the second time this year.
“They thought I was a fill in,” Mendoza said. “I’ve been in the gym for seven months straight since I fought on March 26. This was anything but a last-minute call. This was truly where opportunity meets preparation, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.
“What an amazing opponent for me to show off all the work I’ve done, I couldn’t be more thankful. You watch tape on the guy, and you see what they’re open to…I saw an opening and I went for it. I was just beyond ready for anything.
“Those are the adjustments you work on in camp. He kept slipping the straight line I was throwing. He was ducking and I was like, let’s see if this works. I sat on the punch and let it go, those were the instincts I worked.”
The action heated up quickly. In the first, Rosario got away with a right-left on Mendoza’s chest and face in what appeared to be a break by referee Mark Calo-Oy, who warned Rosario not to do it again. With 1:10 left in the second, Calo-Oy warned both fighters again about hitting on the breaks.
Moments later, Mendoza landed a sweeping left hook to the body followed by another, just below the ribs that caused Rosario to take a knee for the ninth knockdown of his career.
Mendoza wasn’t done. Rosario worked his way back into the fight, keeping Mendoza on his heels in the third. The two-way action continued in the fourth but ended 35 seconds into the fifth, when a crunching, short right uppercut dropped Rosario for the second and final time.
“Even before the fight, they tried to discredit me just in case I won,” Mendoza said. “Who has he lost to? Erikson Lubin and (Jermell) Charlo. Now Brian Mendoza, too. Add it to the list. I want those guys as opponents, and if I have to earn my way to Charlo put him in front of me.
“Give me a title shot at 154 or 160, I’m there. I’m ready. I just want the opportunity.”
Fiodor Czerkaszyn impresses in beating Nathaniel Gallimore
Czerkaszyn ruled with wide scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93.
“I felt in this fight I controlled him,” Czerkaszyn said about Gallimore. “He is very fast and he wanted to catch me with a hard punch, but I wanted to feel the distance. I know fighting in the U.S. is a big opportunity.
“It’s my style. I like to punch like that, fast and sometimes throw a strong punch. I felt that he is a tough fighter. He controls his punches. Good experience, he’s very slick and dangerous. He can punch.”
Czerkaszyn had his way early on. The most significant punch came on a Czerkaszyn right hand with 1:12 left in the fifth. Gallimore was rattled by the shot, and Czerkaszyn, working out of the southpaw stance, kept charging. Gallimore survived the round, but through the halfway point of the fight, it was apparent Czerkaszyn was outworking Gallimore.
“I started a little slow in there tonight,” Gallimore admitted. “I couldn't get my combinations going. He outworked me and they gave him the fight. That's just how it is. It wasn't my night. He never had me hurt in the fight. He did hit me with some good shots, but I wasn't hurt or worried at any point that I couldn't continue.”
Czerkaszyn mixed his up punches well, working up and down, nailing Gallimore with overhand rights, and occasionally dropping to the body.
In the eighth, Czerkaszyn plowed a right off Gallimore, working well with one-two combinations. He then landed three successive rights, which Gallimore had no defense against.
“I thought the scores were pretty fair for the most part. I couldn't get off. (Czerkaszyn) was holding a lot and the ref didn't do anything about it. I'm not saying it was the ref's fault I lost, but he was holding me and keeping me from getting off. It was frustrating.
“I've got to think about what's next (for my career). I'm still in the heat of the moment, but I'll make the right decision about my future in a few days after I've had some time to think about it.”
In his second fight in the U.S., the 26-year-old Czerkaszyn was very impressive, leaving Gallimore with a bruised right eye in landing a massive 224 of 536 total punches (42%) to Gallimore’s 98 of 414 (24%).
“I came here in April,” Czerkaszyn said. “It was my first time in the U.S. I fought last time in August and this is only my second fight here, but I’m ready for the next one. I’m ready for the big stage. Give me world title preparation, because I only had three weeks before this fight. But this was my chance.
“This is my step forward. I will be back.”
On the undercard, former super middleweight interim titlist, now fighting as a light heavyweight, Andre Dirrell (29-3, 19 KOs) proved he is as dangerous as ever as he stopped Yunieski Gonzalez (21-5, 17 KOs) at 1:30 of the 10th round.
Former unified super welterweight world champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams (28-3-1, 16 KOs) came back for the first time in over a year to beat Rolando Mansilla (18-12-1, 8 KOs) by unanimous eight-year decision in a middleweight battle. In a junior welterweight rematch, Kent Cruz (16-0-3, 10 KOs) and Enriko Gogokhia (13-0-2, 8 KOs) fought once again to an eight-round draw.
For a closer look at Morrell vs Yerbossynuly, check out our fight night page.