MINNEAPOLIS – Kalvin Henderson understands the public’s perception of his fight Saturday night.

Henderson is a huge underdog against David Morrell Jr., the fast-rising super middleweight who has his sights set on battling one of his division’s best boxers, David Benavidez, in his following fight. The Cuban-born, Minneapolis-based Morrell has been installed by Caesars Sportsbook as a 20-1 favorite in part because Henderson lost a 10-round unanimous decision two fights ago to an undefeated prospect, Isaiah Steen.

That defeat didn’t discourage Henderson because he suffered a tear to his right rotator cuff during the third round and was hindered for the remainder of a bout that was broadcast last July 23 as part of Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.

The 31-year-old Henderson, who graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in music education, still managed to make his fight with Cleveland’s Steen (16-0, 10 KOs) reasonably competitive. Henderson is convinced he is more than equipped to compete with the highly touted Morrell as well, no matter what Morrell or anyone else thinks.

“It’s a huge opportunity, a huge chance to go in there and try and dethrone the champ,” Henderson stated during a press conference Thursday. “I just want you guys to know that we ain’t here just to say we’re here for the experience or just to say we got the opportunity to fight for the world title. We’re here to fight and we’re here to win.”

Morrell, 24, has surprisingly developed a fan base in Minneapolis, where he resides when he isn’t training for fights in Houston. There isn’t a large Cuban population in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but boxing fans here have taken to the talented Morrell (6-0, 5 KOs).

“Actually, all the pressure’s off of me,” Henderson said. “You know, everybody’s expecting me to come in here and lose and lay down. All the pressure’s on the champ. We in his hometown, in America. Everybody expecting him to do great things. So, I just gotta go in there and just show out, and do what I do best.”

The wide odds on their fight aside, the 10th-ranked Henderson (15-1-1, 11 KOs) doesn’t suspect Morrell is overlooking him entering a fight Showtime will televise as its co-feature before WBC/WBO 122-pound champion Stephen Fulton (20-0, 8 KOs) defends his titles against Los Angeles’ Daniel Roman (29-3-1, 10 KOs) in the 12-round main event.

“I think he’s taking this fight very serious and he’s trained very serious for this fight,” Henderson said. “But like I said, so did I. And in the past, I’ve also messed up my opponent’s plans, future plans, for fights after that, too. So, that’s what we tryin’ to do Saturday, change all those plans.”

Morrell, who will defend the WBA’s secondary super middleweight title, dismissed Henderson’s talk of an upset.

“I’m glad that he has the enthusiasm,” Morrell said, according to a translator. “I appreciate that. But it’s a shame that he’s gonna go home with a loss. I’m happy that he’s confident like that because we’re gonna put on a great show for everyone on Showtime and at The Armory. But at the same time, when he says that he’s gonna come and win, I think that’s something that is really not gonna happen.”

Showtime’s telecast is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET Saturday night with a replay of Gervonta Davis’ sixth-round technical knockout of Rolando Romero last Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.