David Morrell Jr. has faced opponents with much more professional experience in three of his four fights.
The ambitious Morrell (4-0, 3 KOs) has won two of those three bouts by knockout and remains on a fast track toward facing the most formidable fighters within the 168-pound division. Mario Cazares still figures to test Morrell more than anyone the Cuban southpaw has faced thus far.
Mexico’s Cazares upset Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his last fight and remains unbeaten (12-0, 5 KOs). Their 12-round fight for Morrell’s WBA secondary super middleweight title is the main event of a “FOX PBC Fight Night” broadcast Sunday night from The Armory in Minneapolis, Morrell’s adopted hometown.
“There’s been a lot of talk that I may not be ready for a test like this,” Morrell said during a press conference Friday. “I’m going to prove all those people wrong on Sunday. I’m ready for this fight and for all the fighters at 168 pounds.”
The 30-year-old Cazares was beating a fatigued Chavez (52-6-1, 34 KOs, 1 NC) before their scheduled 10-round bout was stopped due to a cut over Chavez’s left eye. A clash of heads opened Chavez’s nasty gash, which led to a ringside physician stopping the action during the sixth round.
The previously unknown Cazares was ahead on all three scorecards – 59-54, 57-56 and 57-56 – when their bout ended prematurely September 25 at Grand Hotel in Tijuana.
Cazares, who beat Chavez by technical decision, jumped at the opportunity to pull off another upset, this time on national television in the United States.
“I understand the Cuban style of fighting very well,” Cazares said. “We have a lot of influence from the Cuban style. So, I know Morrell and I understand exactly where he’s coming from with his style. … Sunday is going to be a war.”
Morrell, 23, seconded Cazares’ sentiments.
“This fight is going to be a war,” Morrell said. “It’s going to be Cuba versus Mexico. I know he’s well prepared, but I know that I’ve prepared better. I’m ready for whatever happens. If it goes the distance, then I’ll be ready to win. If it goes easier and ends inside the distance, I’m still going to win. I prepared very well for this fight.”
The Morrell-Cazares clash will headline FOX’s three-bout broadcast, which is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. EDT.
Nigeria’s Efetobor Apochi (11-0, 11 KOs) and Brandon Glanton (13-0, 11 KOs), of Riverside, California, will square off in FOX’s co-feature, a 10-round battle between unbeaten cruiserweights. The FOX broadcast will start with another 10-rounder, in which junior welterweight prospect Omar Juarez (11-0, 5 KOs), of Brownsville, Texas, will face Filipino veteran All Rivera (21-5, 18 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.