Aidos Yerbossynuly is undefeated, has won three of his past four fights by knockout and stopped Lennox Allen, the one common foe for him and David Morrell, in the 10th round of his most recent action.
Allen (22-2-1, 14 KOs) is the only opponent to take Morrell the distance in seven professional fights. Morrell still doesn’t think Kazakhstan’s Yerbossynuly is all that different from the seven fighters he has beaten since the intriguing Cuban southpaw made his pro debut in August 2019.
Morrell (7-0, 6 KOs) and Yerbossynuly (16-0, 11 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Morrell’s secondary WBA super middleweight title, will square off Saturday night in Minneapolis. Their mandated match will be the main event of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader from The Armory (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).
“I don’t think he’s my hardest or most dangerous opponent,” Morrell said through a translator during a virtual press conference recently. “I’m not about to underestimate him, either, because every fighter is dangerous and, you know, they got there for a reason, just like Aidos. He has gotten his credentials and he has been fighting really well, like you mentioned, with all the stoppages.
“So, I’m gonna face this challenge just like I would any other, with all respect for Aidos, and go from there. Having said that, he probably is the toughest opponent I’m gonna have faced until now. He has gone up against fighters from Russia, Kazakhstan, some really tough guys, and I’m well aware of how tough he can be.”
Yerbossynuly, 30, mostly has fought outside of the United States since he launched his pro career seven years ago. He’ll end a 13-month layoff when he meets Morrell, as Yerbossynuly hasn’t boxed since he knocked out Allen in September 2021 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Caesars Sportsbook lists Morrell as an 11-1 favorite to beat Yerbossynuly, the WBA’s number one contender in the 168-pound division.
Former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champ Jeison Rosario (23-3-1, 17 KOs) is scheduled to box Brian Mendoza (20-2, 14 KOs) in Showtime’s 10-round co-feature Saturday night. The Dominican Republic’s Rosario was supposed to encounter Cuban southpaw Yoelvis Gomez (6-0, 5 KOs), but Albuquerque’s Mendoza replaced Gomez last week because Gomez suffered an injury to his right wrist while training.
In the 10-round opener of Showtime’s telecast, Polish southpaw Fiodor Czerkaszyn (20-0, 13 KOs) and Nathaniel Gallimore (22-5-1, 17 KOs), of Des Plaines, Illinois, will square off in a 10-round middleweight match.
Showtime will also air a replay of Jake Paul’s eight-round, unanimous-decision victory over MMA legend Anderson Silva on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.
Paul (6-0, 4 KOs) dropped Silva (3-2, 2 KOs) early in the eighth round and beat the Brazilian southpaw on all three scorecards in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event last Saturday night at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The 25-year-old Paul, of Westlake, Ohio, won by scores of 78-73, 78-73 and 77-74.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.