Morrell’s trainer Ronnie Shields eyes Canelo clash after Agbeko KO

By Chris Williams - 12/17/2023 - Comments

David Morrell Jr’s trainer Ronnie Shields, would like him to fight Canelo Alvarez for his undisputed super middleweight champion if he can’t get the David Benavidez match-up.

Shields feels that Morrell has earned his shots at a fight with Canelo by fulfilling two or three mandatories.  Although he only has ten fights on his resume, the former Cuban amateur star Morrell has won in a way that has shown that he’s an exceptional talent.

Morrell’s manager had hoped that Benavidez would face him on November 25th but chose Demetrius Andrade rather than facing him. He feels that Benavidez lost his courage after watching Morrell demolish Yamaguchi Falcão.

The energy that Morrell has put into fighting Benavidez has been wasted, and his trainer Shields views Canelo as the more appealing fight for next May. Canelo needs an opponent, and Morrell would be perfect.

Morrell hasn’t talked about wanting to fight Canelo. In the last year, the Cuban talent’s entire focus has been trying to lure Benavidez into the ring, as he wants to put the braggart in his place. He’s had zero luck, however.

Last Saturday night, Morrell showcased his talent, stopping Sena Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs) in the second round of Showtime’s final broadcast for boxing after 37 years. Agbeko gave it his best shot but was little more than a speed bump for the 25-year-old Morrell.

Shields pleased with Morrell’s performance

“I know my guy. I know big and strong he is, and I know how hard he hits,” said trainer Ronnie Shields to Fighthype when asked if he was surprised at how easy WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell Jr’s victory was over Sena Agbeko last Saturday night in Minneapolis.

“I figured if we could jump on him early and get three or four punches off on him, I figured we’d get a stoppage. I wanted him to have a great first round, but he didn’t, and I had to jump on him a little bit about that because that’s what we trained for,” Shields continued about his fighter, Morrell.

Canelo vs. Morrell would be an excellent fight, and it could sell better to the U.S. public. Benavidez has arguably been too calculated with his approach to getting the fight with Canelo, taking a strategic play-it-safe road to get the payday.

“He did it in the second round. He did in the second round what he was supposed to do in the first round. I didn’t like that people were hollering at him, and he was looking at the audience,” said Shields on what he didn’t like from Morrell in the first round.

“That’s a no-no. You don’t do that, but it was people that he respects that he was turning and listening to. I had to stop him right away. ‘Listen, man. You have to focus on what you’re doing.’ In this game, you can’t take chances.”

Morrell had his parents in the audience at The Armory last Saturday night, and he had friends, too. That might have been the reason why he was distracted slightly in the first round, but he still dominated Agbeko.

It wasn’t the fast start that Shields wanted from him, but he changed things up in the second round, going after Agbeko with powerful left hooks and right hands that had him reeling almost immediately.

“Sena can punch, and he’s got the knockouts to prove it,” said Shields. “So, I didn’t want my guy to get caught with something. My guy has got good defense and all of that, but I wanted him to be focused and prove that he’s the best fighter.

Morrell’s trainer shifts focus: Canelo beckons

“I want whatever he wants,” said Shields when asked if he wants David Benavidez next for Morrell. “As a trainer, my job, despite who he fights, I have to get him ready for whatever it is. I never get involved in who the fighter is going to fight next. That’s not my job. Other people have that job, not me.”

It doesn’t matter that Morrell would like to fight Benavidez. Mexican Monster and his father, Jose Benavidez Sr., don’t want to face Morrell. They would know what they’d be up against if they faced him, so they wouldn’t bother.

“My job is to prepare him for whoever they put in the ring with him. Not just Benavidez. What about Canelo? Canelo is there. David Morrell has done two or three mandatories for Canelo. Come on, man. When is he going to get his opportunity?” said Shields about his interest in Morrell fighting the ‘Face of Boxing,’ superstar Canelo, rather than Benavidez, who doesn’t seem to want to fight him.

Benavidez would be upset to see Canelo pick Morrell out, but it would be a better fight for the fans. With Benavidez, he would just try and use his cruiserweight-sized frame against Canelo in a weight-bully fashion. He would literally be trying to bludgeon Canelo into submission using his weight advantage and volume.

Additionally, Benavidez would likely use the build-up to the fight with Canelo to complain about how he had to wait three or four years to finally get a fight. He would be a bitter grump, still stewing on being ignored by Canelo all these years, and not much fun to listen to his bellyaching.

You wouldn’t get that with Morrell because he’s an upbeat type of person who would be just happy to get the opportunity to fight Canelo.

“I don’t know. Styles make fights. Canelo has that style that is really difficult to penetrate sometimes, but Benavidez is a busy guy, and so is David [Morrell]. I don’t know. I really truly don’t know which fight would be the tougher fight,” said Shields on which of the two, Canelo or Benavidez, would be the harder fight for Morrell.

“Truthfully, both guys [Benavidez and Morrell] deserve to get all the hype, they really and truly do, because they’re making noise at 168 lbs. It’s a shame that neither one of them is a super champion. It’s a shame that neither one of them has gotten an opportunity to be a super champion.

Benavidez won’t fight Morrell until after he’s gotten the Canelo fight he’s been asking for. The only way Morrell will get a fight with Benavidez is by waiting until he faces Canelo in 2024 or 2025.

If Benavidez beats Canelo, he’ll likely vacate the four 168-lb titles without facing Morrell and move up to 175 or cruiserweight. He’d stay at 168 if Canelo wants a rematch.

“What David Benavidez did because he was WBC champion twice, but he lost because of certain things. I feel my guy [Morrell] can beat anybody in the world, anybody, no matter who it is, and everybody else feels the same way about their guy, but how you prove it in the ring,” said Shields.

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