David Morrell’s super middleweight title may not be particularly legit, but his next challenge certainly will be. The WBA today elevated the 23-year-old Cuban from “interim” to “world” champion, a largely meaningless distinction that nonetheless comes with orders to fight John Ryder.
As always, the pair have 30 days to negotiate.
Morrell (4-0, 3 KO) made his pro debut in August of 2019 and won the interim title just under a year later with a decision over unbeaten-but-untested Lennox Allen. Then came Mike Gavronski, whom Morrell demolished in three rounds just last month. He missed weight badly for that one, but still got to keep the belt when it was switched to a non-title bout.
Ryder (29-5, 16 KO) is monumentally more dangerous than the likes of Allen and Gavronski. He should have been the WBA “super” champ after his tremendous effort against Callum Smith, only for rotten judging to intervene. When neither a rematch nor a proposed clash with Daniel Jacobs materialized, he stayed busy against Mike Guy, whom he beat over 10 terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad rounds.
If Morrell ends up taking the fight, which he really has no obligation to since it’s a secondary title, then mad props to him. Save for the Guy debacle, Ryder’s looked like an absolute menace since his questionable loss to Rocky Fielding and took another promising young fighter in Bilal Akkaway to the woodshed a couple years back. Please continue the