David Morrell’s perfect scenario places him in the ring with Canelo Alvarez
The perfect development is supposed to go like this: Ring/WBA/WBO/WBC super middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez and IBF titlist Caleb Plant would meet in September for the undisputed 168-pound championship.
Appearing on the undercard would be The Ring’s No.1 contender David Benavidez (24-0, 21 knockouts) taking on WBA-regular titlist David Morrell (5-0, 4 KOs).
The winner of Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) and Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) would then face the winner of Benavidez-Morrell sometime in either December or early 2022.
Morrell has no problem with that dynamic scenario, because in the end, he feels, he’ll be the one still standing.
It’s a lot to ask. Morrell doesn’t care. Alvarez has shown incredible fortitude during his 2021 run through the 168-pound division, while Plant waits for his star-turn opportunity against Canelo. Benavidez yearns for another title belt after losing the WBC strap on the scales in his title defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo last August. It makes Morrell’s WBA bauble strong incentive.
One thing is certain. Morrell, the 6-foot-1, 23-year-old Cuban southpaw puncher who is really righthanded, will cause problems for anyone at 168.
“I want to fight two more times before the end of the year,” said Morrell through an interpreter. “I have the discipline to beat anyone. I live here in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and you have to be disciplined. My discipline comes within myself, but it does make it easier to be disciplined living here, mostly during the winter. My trainers will wake me up whether I want to run in the snow or not (laughs).
“No one can beat me at 168 pounds; not even Canelo. When I say I’m ready for anyone and everyone, I mean that I’m ready for anyone and everyone. I say that because I see myself as the best at 168.
“I work hard at everything. Nothing has been handed to me. The last time I lost a fight was in 2016. I don’t plan on losing again. I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I’ll let my team decide that. There’s no one that can beat me, like I said before, not even Canelo.”
The venerable Luis DeCubas Sr., who promotes Morrell, has no problem reiterating what his fighter says. DeCubas embraced Morrell’s talent when he first saw him. He says Morrell is like a Vasiliy Lomachenko with power in both hands.
DeCubas had such confidence in Morrell that he had no problem putting him in a title fight in his third fight.
“I have no problem putting Morrell into the ring with Canelo right now, and I was there ringside when (Erislandy) Lara beat him in (2014, which Canelo won by a split-decision),” DeCubas said. “Morrell is much a lot bigger version than Lara, who can punch a lot harder than Lara. Canelo is a small guy. He’s the best in the world, but he’s a short guy next to Morrell.
“This kid Morrell I tell my son (Luis Jr.) all of the time that I know what I have. Joe Goossen said it best, Morrell can fight inside, middle and long distance. What proved Morrell was the real thing was this Cuban kid went to Minnesota and we made him the house fighter. He’s shown great discipline living there.
“We’ll wait for PBC for when Morrell fights again, and to me, we’re in great hands with PBC and Al Haymon. I would be very happy if we can get the bogeyman of the division, David Benavidez. To me, Benavidez is the best guy in the division and I know my guy Morrell will beat him.
“Benavidez wants a title fight—he has it. If we can play that out with the Canelo-Plant winner facing the Benavidez-Morrell winner, it would be perfect. I have no problem with that scenario.
“It’s not my scenario, but it’s a great scenario, because I know that my guy Morrell is the best. I want to give Benavidez his shot. Here it is. Let’s do this. We’re not afraid of anyone.”
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.