THU, JAN 01, 1970
Interviews with the unbeaten 140-pounder Russell, potential Trainer of the Year Santos, plus a look back at last weekend's action and more.
Undefeated super lightweight contender Gary Antuanne Russell and Trainer of the Year candidate Bob Santos are this week's guests on The PBC Podcast. Russell discusses the upheaval his family has dealt with over the past year, breaks down his strong 2022 and looks ahead to a world title shot in 2023.
Santos talks about his long journey in the sport, working with some of the top fighters in the game today and why he's poised to add even more world champions to his roster. Plus, hosts Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal recap all of last weekend's action and, in this week's Toe to Toe segment, list their top five fighters of the 21st century.
For a closer look at Gary Antuanne Russell, check out his fighter page.
The PBC Podcast is a weekly boxing show featuring timely analysis and interviews with the sport’s biggest figures. The show is published every Wednesday on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spreaker and other outlets. Alternatively, listeners can find The PBC Podcast on the PBC website at www.premierboxingchampions.com/podcast.
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Undefeated top contender Frank “The Ghost” Martin dominated from start to finish in winning a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Michel “La Zarza Ali” Rivera in a WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator.
"This is just what I do,” said Martin, who won by scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 117-110. “I felt good tonight. There were some things that I saw in there that I didn't capitalize on, but we went in there and got the job done. My corner was telling me to stay on the outside, watch out for the right hand and work the game plan. I was using my legs and I could have done it a lot more. It worked for us tonight, but there's a lot of room for improvement and we're going to keep working.”
In a star-making performance, the 27-year-old Martin (25-0, 14 KOs) controlled the action throughout, showing superior speed and boxing acumen, as he quickly closed down the reach advantage held by Rivera. Promoted by unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and coached by top trainer Derrick James, Martin has put himself into a primes position in the star-studded 135-pound division.
"It's a blessing to be in the gym with Errol and [undisputed 154-pound champion] Jermell [Charlo] and they keep me going,” said Martin. “I'm always watching Errol when he's sparring and I'm always asking questions and looking to get better. Seeing champions on top like them, I'm getting nothing but game from them.”
The 24-year-old Rivera seemed to struggle with Martin’s southpaw attack, as he continuously ate straight left hands, especially in the early rounds. Rivera had his moments where his length allowed him to land strong straight right hands, but Martin’s footwork routinely allowed him to evade further damage.
"I went in there for a win, I didn't come here to lose,” said Rivera. “I was feeling pretty good today, but by round four or five, I think I started to feel the effects of the weight cut. I don't make excuses, but I'm a big guy for the division.”
In round seven Martin delivered his signature moment of the fight, putting Rivera down hard with a straight left-right hook combination. Rivera showed mettle in rising to his feet, but Martin kept the attack coming, mixing in even more body shots on his weary opponent.
"We believe in 'Man Down',” said Martin. “It’s protect yourself at all times. He got caught slipping and he went down.”
“I'm pretty fast, but you have to be faster to fight a guy like this,” said Rivera. “I was too slow tonight. I tried to use my jab to keep him off me. He was the better guy today. I won't take anything away from him. I don't want to learn how to lose. I'm just going to work hard to win again. I don't want losing to feel normal. I work to win."
Martin held a statistical advantage according to CompuBox, out-landing Rivera 174 to 67 and connecting on 31% of his shots, compared to 15% for Rivera. The defense from Martin was also key throughout, as he held Rivera below double-digit punches landed in every round. After the fight, Martin set his sights on the rest of the elite 135-pounders.
"I just believe in myself and I believe in our team,” said Martin. “We know what we're doing and we're working consistently. We believed in it and believed that we're ready for any of the top fighters, so let us get them. We're ready to eat.”
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.
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It was all Fiodor Czerkaszyn (21-0, 13 KOs) in the telecast opener, a fight in which the talented and undefeated middleweight raised his stock even further with an impressive unanimous decision over seasoned veteran Nathaniel Gallimore (22-6-1, 17 KOs).
“I felt in this fight I controlled him,” said the Ukrainian-born Czerkaszyn, who now fights out of Poland. “He is very fast and he wanted to catch me with a hard punch, but I wanted to feel the distance. It’s my style. I like to punch like that, fast and sometimes throw a strong punch.
Making his SHOWTIME debut, Czerkaszyn made a good first impression by displaying a wide range of skills during the course of the 10-round destruction. The 26-year-old landed 53 percent of his power punches and held a sizeable 59-6 advantage in body punches landed. Coming off a career-long layoff of 16 months and making his debut at 160 pounds, Gallimore didn’t pose enough of an offensive threat, landing just 24 percent of his power punches, but showed heart and toughness to last all 10 rounds.
“I started a little slow in there tonight,” said the Jamaican-born Gallimore, who now fights out of Chicago. “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.”
With two consecutive wins in the United States after fighting exclusively in Europe, Czerkaszyn is eager to keep the momentum going stateside.
“I’m ready for the big stage,” he said. “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.”
Undefeated middleweight contender Fiodor Czerkaszyn is a well-conditioned volume puncher with slick boxing skills and a high ring IQ. The Polish pugilist is world championship material.See Fiodor's Profile
Undefeated Super Middleweight Champion David Morrell Jr. is primed for stardom but must first get past a fellow unbeaten fighter in dangerous heavy hitter Aidos Yerbossynuly Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
This Saturday, November 5, live on SHOWTIME from The Armory in Minneapolis, MN, unbeaten WBA Super Middleweight Champion and adopted Minneapolis hometown fan-favorite David Morrell Jr. (7-0, 6 KOs) takes on undefeated mandatory challenger Aidos Yerbossynuly (16-0, 11 KOs) in a 12-round battle atop a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will feature former unified champion Jeison Rosario taking on late replacement Brian Mendoza in the 10-round middleweight co-main event. In the telecast opener, unbeaten middleweight Fiodor Czerkaszyn meets the always-tough Nathaniel Gallimore in a 10-round contest.
David Morrell Jr. is ready for next-level stardom. It’s just a matter of when and how he’ll get there.
The Cuban standout with the jaw-dropping 135-2 amateur record, defected from his home country with dreams of titles and success. In 2020, in just his third pro fight, he captured the vacant interim WBA super middleweight title via one-sided unanimous decision over undefeated veteran Lennox Allen. Shortly thereafter, he would be elevated to full champion status by the WBA.
The 24-year-old Morrell has torn through his opposition thus far, making a name for himself as one of the top young fighters in the game. This will be his fourth straight fight at The Armory, in front of fans who have adopted him as one of their own.
Although super middleweight showdowns with David Benavidez and unified champ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez loom large on his horizon, Morrell is first focused on dealing with this Saturday’s challenge.
Aidos Yerbossynuly is a native of Zharkent, Kazakhstan who proudly boasts a bloodline that traces back to fearsome Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. Now training and fighting out of Las Vegas, the undefeated 30-year-old, who began his career in impressive fashion, is setting about on the next leg of his boxing journey—the quest for world stage stardom and world title glory.
In his last bout, Yerbossynuly took a huge step up in class and passed the test with flying colors, stopping former Morrell foe Lennox Allen in ten rounds. It was the veteran’s first-ever loss by stoppage.
The Kazakh battler says that he’s more than ready for whatever Morrell brings to him.
At stake is Morrell’s WBA super middleweight title and a placement near the top of the talented and lucrative 168-pound class.
Morrell is a true natural and a boxing prodigy, gifted with superior hand speed and reflexes. Brought up in the iconic Cuban amateur boxing system, he has poise and ring maturity beyond his years and the confidence that goes along with supreme seasoning.
The explosive southpaw has a varied offense with a myriad of punches in his arsenal that he can launch from seemingly all angles with high-impact power. Fluid and fearless in his delivery, he works well from both the inside and outside and is adept at controlling the distance and pacing of a bout.
On defense, Morrell is intuitive and efficient, relying on head movement and his superior reflexes to stay out of trouble.
“ [Yerbossynuly] is probably the toughest opponent that I’ve faced. ” Undefeated WBA World Super Middleweight Champion - David Morrell Jr.
Yerbossynuly is deliberate and methodical in his fighting style, with a preference for moving forward and engaging on his own terms.
Working behind a solid and frequent jab that he uses as both a range finder and to establish distance, he wings right-handed and left-handed shots with equal efficiency. Although not in possession of true one-punch power, his punches are solid and well-placed. A wide right hand, a left hook off the jab, and an uppercut are among his primary offensive weapons.
Yerbossynuly has basic defensive skills that have yet to be tested against high-end, world class opposition. He mostly uses a modified high guard defense to pick off incoming shots.
David Morrell Jr.
“He is probably the toughest opponent that I’ve faced. He’s faced some really good European fighters and I’m well aware of how tough he is. But I’m back in my house to give my fans a great show. Aidos is going to see how loud The Armory can be on November 5. I’m going to be ready for whatever comes my way in this fight.”
“We are descendants of Genghis Khan, and you will see the power of the Nomads on November 5. All of our hard work and sacrifice will pay off when I defeat David Morrell Jr. and bring the world title back to Kazakhstan.”
Morrell will have just about every conceivable advantage coming into this bout.
From his amateur seasoning and his work with trainer Ronnie Shields to a seven-inch reach advantage to a major edge in overall athleticism and raw talent, Morrell seems a level above Yerbossynuly in all areas. It’s tempting to completely write off the Kazakh’s challenge and look ahead to what may be next on the Cuban’s hit list.
But that’s exactly where Yerbossynuly may find his opening and his chance to pull off the upset. If Morrell is underestimating his challenge, looking beyond this Saturday, distracted by the bright possibilities in his near immediate future, Aidos may shock the boxing world.
It’s possible that Morrell may see Yerbossynuly as the stopover before the main destination, the speed bump before the entrance to the super highway. For Yerbossynuly, however, this title fight is the ultimate destination, his boxing equivalent of the Super Bowl and game seven of the NBA Finals.
Could the disparity in urgency and career importance compensate for the disparity in talent and seasoning? Maybe, maybe not.
If the upset can’t be wrangled, though, expect another brutal virtuoso performance from Morrell, one of boxing’s top young talents. That, alone, is enough of a big-time show to be worth fight fans’ time and attention.
For a closer look at Morrell vs Yerbossynuly, check out our fight night page.
THU, JAN 01, 1970