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David Morrell elevated to WBA regular 168-pound champion

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By Jeff Aronow: Earlier today, the World Boxing Association upgraded unbeaten David Morrell (4-0, 3 KOs) from interim 168-pound WBA champion to the full title, which they call their ‘World’ champ.

The talented 23-year-old Cuban will now be defending his new WBA super middleweight title against #7 WBA John ‘Gorilla’ Ryder (29-5, 16 KOs). They have 30 days to negotiate the fight before it goes to a purse bid.

Canelo Alvarez captured the WBA Super World super middleweight title last month in beating champion Callum Smith by a 12 round unanimous decision on December 19th.

Alvarez is currently looking to win the IBF and WBO titles to become the undisputed 168lb titles.

He’s not likely to show such interest in facing the 23-year-old Morrell for his WBA secondary title. There’ nothing to gain for Canelo taking on the little-known Morrell right now.

If Morrell wins one of the major titles, Canelo might show some interest in facing him, but not with him holding the ‘regular’ belt.

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The former Cuban amateur star has been given a big push by the WBA for what he did before he turned professional. As a professional, Morrell has beaten these fighters:

  • Mike Gavronski
  • Lennox Allen
  • Quinton Rankin
  • Yendris Rodriguez Valdez

Despite possessing a 75% KO percentage, Morrell isn’t a big puncher by any means. He’s more of a slapper, who jumps on his opponents with flurries of weak shots. Eventually, those flurries lead to knockouts.

He hasn’t faced anyone of quality that would make him pay for fighting like that. The WBA made it easy on Morrell in sanctioning his fight against Lennox Allen as a match for their interim super middleweight title.

If Morrell had to face one of these contenders for the interim WBA belt, he could have come empty:

  • David Benavidez
  • Edgar Berlanga
  • Bektemir Melikuziev
  • Aidos Yerbossynuly

Those are the type of fighters that Morrell should have fought for the interim WBA super middleweight title instead of Allen.

Ryder will have a decent chance of beating Morrell if he can catch him with something in between his shoeshine flurries the likes to throw.

Morrell doesn’t appear to keep his hands closed when he throws his punches and ends up being a bunch of wild slaps. Ryder will have a good chance to land a shot while Morrell is in the middle of his combos, and possibly hurt him.

The WBA would be doing the boxing world a good service if they trimmed down the number of champions they have for each weight class. It’s ridiculous at this point how many champions the WBA has.

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The current WBA champions at 168:

  • Canelo Alvarez – Super World
  • David Morrell – World AKA Regular
  • Fedor Chudinov – Gold

It would be great to see the WBA order Morrell to take on David Benavidez.

That would be a fun fight to see if Morrell’s combination punching would have any effect against the much stronger Benavidez, who has a lot more experience as a professional.

Both guys are about the same age, but Benavidez is way ahead of Morrell in the experience department.

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