The WBA 168-pound titlist remains unbeaten with a scintillating performance Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
Unbeaten WBA Super Middleweight Champion David Morrell Jr. delivered another sensational moment for fans in his adopted hometown as he blasted out Sena Agbeko in round two in the final SHOWTIME® main event Saturday night from The Armory in Minneapolis and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
“Thank you to my fans for coming to the fight,” said Morrell. “I’m teaching everyone who is number one. I’m ready. I tell everybody, my team, my family…I’m looking forward to next year. For now, I feel happy. Right now, I’m going to go to my house for Christmas and focus on next year.”
Originally from Cuba, Morrell (10-0, 9 KOs) made Minneapolis his home upon arriving stateside to begin his pro career in 2019 and has since delivered six knockouts for fans at The Armory. In front of a sold out crowd, the largest for a boxing event at The Armory, Morrell made quick work of the upset minded Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs) with the fight ending 1:43 into the second round.
Morrell first hurt Agbeko with a crisp uppercut that forced Agbeko to retreat to the ropes in hope of survival. Sensing his moment, Morrell pounced and hurt Agbeko again, this time with a straight left. After a series of powerful hooks, Mark Nelson was forced to jump in and end the bout. Morrell connected on a staggering 68% of power shots in the decisive round, according to CompuBox.
“Everybody came out for my fight and it’s still very exciting,” said Morrell. “This is the first time my dad and my mom came to watch me fight, so it’s really special to have them here. It’s my night. It’s my time. It’s my year, and I’m looking forward to a good 2024.”
After the fight, Morrell repeated his long held desire for a showdown against fellow unbeaten super middleweight power puncher David Benavidez.
“In 2024, I want to fight Benavidez,” said Morrell. “One-hundred percent.”
Jose Valenzuela Delivers KO of the Year candidate
In the co-main event, Jose “Rayo” Valenzuela (13-2, 9 KOs) scored a vicious sixth-round knockout over Chris “Primetime” Colbert (17-2, 6 KOs) in their WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator that served as a rematch after Colbert edged Valenzuela by decision in March.
“As soon as I went home I went straight to work,” said Valenzuela. “I want to thank Chris, he’s a hell of a fighter. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here. It takes two to tango, so I’m grateful for him.”
Just like in their first showdown, Valenzuela came out hot and again dropped Colbert early in round one. This time it was with a flurry that pushed Colbert up against the ropes before he was eventually forced to take a knee, part of a staggering 33 punches landed for Valenzuela in the round.
In another repeat of their first fight, Colbert was able to show his grit and use his ring IQ to survive the round, and even went on to have some strong moments over the first few rounds. After Colbert got the unanimous decision in their first fight, largely behind a strong and steady jab, Valenzuela showed improved foot work and patience to set up the eventual victory.
“I gotta tip my hat off to him because he brought out the best in me,” said Valenzuela. “He made me adjust. I knew I was conditioned to go 12 rounds, so I just was being patient. I didn’t want to rush it and punch myself out. I was just teeing off on him. I was throwing combinations to the body and to the head, mixing it up.”
After a big fifth round, Valenzuela came out in round six stalking Colbert around the ring looking for another spot to hurt his opponent. Midway through the round Valenzuela found his moment with a leaping right hook that badly hurt Colbert and forced referee Joel Scobie to stop the bout 1:46 into the round.
“The second time he turned left he saw I was gonna throw a jab so he could catch it up front, but I dipped a little bit and shot the right hook,” said Valenzuela in describing the finishing blow.
After the fight, Colbert told Valenzuela that he hopes to get a third fight between the two, while Valenzuela expressed that his sights are set on WBA Lightweight Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis.
“We’re 1-1, let’s run this back,” said Colbert after the fight.
“I don’t think the fans want to see a rematch, I beat him twice,” said Valenzuela. “I was patient for a reason. This was a title eliminator and I want to fight for the title. So ‘Tank’ Davis, let’s get it on man. Let’s give these people a great show… I think I’m ready. I put my heart and soul into this and I beat him twice now so I think I deserve it.”
Robert Guerrero outpoints Andre Berto
In the telecast opener, former world champions squared off as Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (38-6-1, 20 KOs) grinded out a unanimous decision (98-92 twice, 99-91) over Andre Berto (32-6, 24 KOs) after 10 rounds of welterweight action.
“I felt great in the ring,” said Guerrero. “I said in the fighter meeting that I was going to box a little more and work on my jab and foot work. Berto is a tough character. He’s fast, he’s strong. He tied me up a lot. I’m pumped, I’m excited. Let’s see what’s next after this.”
"I came off a long layoff to try to avenge one of my losses and I was really trying tonight,” said Berto. “My timing was off, but I tried my best. I love this game, but I came up short."
Two fighters who have delivered numerous Fight of the Years throughout their careers, Guerrero and Berto met in a rematch of their memorable 2012 battle that Guerrero won by decision. In the sequel, Guerrero was the busier and more accurate fighter on his way to landing double digit punches in eight of 10 rounds.
“I had to fight smarter,” said Guerrero. “Last time I had a chip on my shoulder when I fought Berto. I wanted to walk him down. This time I used my boxing skills. You’ve watched me since I was 122 pounds and you knew I could box and be on the outside. So that’s what I did today. I’m excited. You know, as my father says I’m 40-years-old, but the older the bull, the stiffer the horns.”
Guerrero began to close down the distance from a jabbing Berto, using 31 jabs to the body of his own to soften the defense. Known as a dangerous and wily puncher on the inside, Guerrero appeared to make Berto uncomfortable with thudding power shots on his charging opponent.
Overall, Guerrero out landed Berto 125 to 96, connecting on 39% of shots to 31% for Berto. With his fifth consecutive victory, Guerrero plans to continue fighting and attempt one more climb to world title contention.
“I want to see how far I can go,” said Guerrero. “Maybe I can get back into a world title fight, what do you all think about that? Let me tell you, Mexican power baby!”
Prior to the telecast, action streaming live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page was topped by unbeaten former 140-pound world champion Alberto Puello (22-0, 10 KOs) dominating the previously unbeaten Ector Madera (11-1, 6 KOs) across eight rounds to take home a unanimous decision by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73.
Middleweight Kyrone “Shut it Down” Davis (18-3-1, 6 KOs) earning an eight-round unanimous decision over Cruse Stewart (8-3, 6 KOs) by the score of 75-73 according to all three judges, and light heavyweight Lawrence King (14-1, 12 KOs) scoring a fourth-round KO (:18) over Alex Theran (23-13, 15 KOs).
For a closer look at Morrell vs Agbeko, check out our fight night page.