David Morrell Jr and David Benavidez both have fights coming up, with Benavidez in a fairly high-profile main event on Showtime against David Lemieux (this is a lot of Davids) on May 21, and Morrell facing Kalvin Henderson on the undercard of Fulton-Roman, another Showtime card on June 4.
While Benavidez (25-0, 22 KO) has made a lot of noise about being ducked in recent months and really the last couple of years, notably by Jermall Charlo and Canelo Alvarez, Morrell (6-0, 5 KO) doesn’t see him as the truly avoided man at 168 lbs.
“I look at someone like David Benavidez who claims to be avoided, but you never hear him mention my name,” said Morrell. “He speaks as though he’s the bogeyman of the division; well, fight me and let’s find out. He’s chasing a fight with Canelo, but I know I’ll give him a beat-down that he’ll never forget.”
Morrell, a 24-year-old Cuban southpaw, has been largely hidden away on the now apparently extinct PBC on FOX series, beating guys like Lennox Allen and Mike Gavronski and Mario Cazares and Alantez Fox with ease. Only Allen, who went a full 12, has gone past the fourth round with Morrell.
While his competition hasn’t exactly been at the highest tier, you could throw the exact same criticism at the record of Benavidez, whose last three bouts have been wins over Roamer Alexis Angulo (where he missed weight and was stripped of the WBC belt for a second time), Ronald Ellis, and Kyrone Davis.
Benavidez will fight Lemieux for the interim WBC super middleweight title on May 21, while Morrell has the WBA’s secondary (“world” or “regular”) title, which he’ll defend against Henderson on June 4.
Both will be favored to win, and with undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo tied up with either a rematch against Dmitry Bivol or a third fight with Gennadiy Golovkin next, a fight between Benavidez and Morrell really could work out for this fall or winter — if PBC and both fighters want to make it.
Morrell is confident he’d be a nightmare for Benavidez if it does, though.
“I’ve seen every style you can possibly think of in the amateurs, so I know how to beat a guy like Benavidez, who likes to come forward and bang,” he continued. “David Benavidez is a great puncher with a lot of heart, and he’s a warrior, I’ll give him that, but he doesn’t have the skills that I possess.
“I’ll fight David Benavidez any time, anywhere, but will he fight me? That is the question the fans want to know, myself included. Now the world knows who I want most, let’s see who the real boogeyman is. Come to papa, David. Boo!”
The other thing to add here is that in addition to it being a logical matchup between a pair of contenders, it also figures to be a great fight. Both have power, both have skills, both are young and hungry guys. If they get through these next fights without an upset, this would be a great fight to make.