Eddie Hearn and the brass at Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) are now in discussion for two super middleweight title fights.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) has once again called for a fight between reigning WBA “World” super middleweight titlist David Morrell (5-0, 4KOs) and mandatory challenger John Ryder (29-5, 16KOs). The sanctioning body ordered a fresh round of negotiations on Thursday, with the two sides given thirty (30) days—until August 7—to come to terms or be subject to a purse bid hearing.
Morrell—who fights under the PBC banner—is represented by Warriors Boxing, while Ryder fights for Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Morrell (5-0, 4KOs) is coming off of a first-round knockout of previously unbeaten Mario Cazares atop the June 27 edition of PBC on Fox. The win marked the first defense of his title, which was upgraded from the “interim” belt the 23-year-old Cuban southpaw claimed in a twelve-round, unanimous decision victory over then-unbeaten Lennox Allen last August at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Wedged in between was a third-round knockout of Mike Gavronski in a non-title fight that took place above the super middleweight limit last December 26 at Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. That win as well as the one over Allen took place without fans in attendance, whereas Morrell fought in front of a packed house in his brief-yet-emphatic win over Cazares.
Ryder has not fought since a ten-round, unanimous decision victory over Mike Guy last December 18 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The bout was the first for the 32-year-old southpaw from London since his lone career title fight, a heartbreaking and widely disputed unanimous decision defeat to then-unbeaten WBA “Super” 168-pound champion Callum Smith. The November 2019 title fight took place in Smith’s Liverpool hometown, where he claimed an unpopular decision by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112.
Most observers believed Ryder was robbed of the decision and deserved to leave the ring with the title.
A fight between Morrell and Ryder was previously ordered by the WBA on January 19, the same day Morrell received an upgrade from “Interim” to “World” titlist. The two sides were believed to have reached a deal for a summertime clash, only for Morrell to instead move forward with a voluntary defense per an agreement reached on June 6.
Talks between the two camps are expected to commence in the near future, though they are already in negotiations for another count. Hearn has extended his working relationship with WBA “Super”/WBC/WBO super middleweight champ Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs), who is currently negotiating with IBF titlist Caleb Plant (21-0, 12KOs) for a desired undisputed championship clash eyed for mid-September surrounding Mexican Independence Day.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox