Morrell’s Promoter: I Saw The Fear In Benavidez; Can’t Hide No More; Quit Fighting 54-Pounders

Boxing Scene

The handlers of David Morrell Jr. thought they had a deal in place to fight David Benavidez in November.

According to Luis DeCubas Sr. – the chief operating officer for Warriors Boxing, Morrell’s promoter – Benavidez was supposed to enter the ring after Morrell demolished Yamaguchi Falcao on April 22 to announce that he would meet Morrell next. That didn’t happen, of course, and Benavidez battled another undefeated southpaw, Demetrius Andrade, in his following fight.

Now that Benavidez stopped Andrade after the sixth round November 25 in Las Vegas and Morrell overwhelmed another overmatched opponent Saturday night at The Armory in Minneapolis, DeCubas called out Benavidez for avoiding Morrell.

If Benavidez lands a more lucrative showdown with Canelo Alvarez, DeCubas acknowledged that would make better business sense for Benavidez. Otherwise, however, DeCubas contended during a post-fight press conference following his second-round, technical-knockout victory over Sena Agbeko at The Armory that Morrell is the only opponent Benavidez should face next.

“I first wanna say they were calling us out first,” DeCubas said. “They been calling us out for years. Then after we said we wanted the fight, OK, [Benavidez’s] father started going back and forth. We had the deal made for November. He was supposed to come in the ring when [Morrell] knocked out Falcao. He never came in, he hid. He ran away. OK? I been in boxing 40 years. I saw in his eyes. I saw the fear. You know, now we’re ready. Now he can’t hide no more.

“You know, I know what your mentality is – you get the Canelo fight, God bless you. If you don’t get it, there’s nobody else to fight. Quit fighting 154-pounders, man. You know? [David] Lemieux’s a 54-pounder. Andrade’s a 54-pounder. Kyrone Davis, you saw him fight tonight, he’s a small guy. You know? They been getting him small guys. [Morrell] is a full-fledged super middleweight and the Carlos Monzon of our time, right here.”

Mexico’s Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) is expected to return to the ring May 4. He hasn’t chosen his opponent, but Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) and his promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, challenged Alvarez to fight him again after Phoenix’s Benavidez beat Andrade three weeks ago in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.

“If he doesn’t fight Canelo, everybody in boxing wants to see this fight,” DeCubas said regarding Benavidez-Morrell. “The fans aren’t stupid. They know this is the guy. … Just read the comments. The people that are paying to watch the fights, 80 percent of the people got this guy as the winner [versus Benavidez]. Why do you think they’re avoiding us? Because they know, because they’re afraid. ‘I’ll go up to ’75 and fight Bivol.’ That’s what [Benavidez] said.”

The 25-year-old Morrell (10-0, 9 KOs) is considered an elite-level talent. The Cuban-born boxer’s power, speed, ring IQ and athleticism have fascinated fans, but he boxed less than three total rounds in 2023 and against a lower level of opposition than Benavidez.

The WBA secondary super middleweight champion’s second-round stoppage of Ghana’s Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs) on Saturday night occurred 7½ months after his first-round knockout of Falcao (24-2-1, 10 KOs) on the Showtime Pay-Per-View portion of the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia undercard at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“You know, we fast-tracked him real fast,” DeCubas said. “Nobody’s ever done what he’s done. You know, with 10 professional fights, [he’s in] the same breath as Canelo, you know, Benavidez. People talk, ‘Hey, he can beat [Benavidez].’ Most of the comments say he can beat Benavidez. Eighty percent of the comments, of the fans, not me.”

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

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