On the fast track to a stardom, David Morrell Jr. will encounter the toughest test of his career when he puts his super middleweight title on the line against Alantez Fox Saturday night on FOX PBC Fight Night.
This Saturday, December 18, unbeaten Cuban sensation David Morrell Jr. (5-0, 4 KOs) defends his WBA super middleweight title in his adopted hometown against contender Alantez Fox (28-2-1, 13 KOs) atop a FOX PBC Fight Night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) card at The Armory in Minneapolis, MN.
After a sensational 135-2 amateur record in the iconic Cuban amateur system, David Morrell Jr. defected in 2017 with little more than a dream and the clothes on his back.
Living and training out of Minneapolis, the 23-year-old former Cuban national champ began his pro career in 2019 with a first round blowout of Yendris Valdez and, in just his third fight, won the vacant interim WBA super middleweight title via one-sided unanimous decision over undefeated 23-fight pro, Lennox Allen. Shortly thereafter, he was elevated to full champion status by the WBA. This past June, he destroyed unbeaten Mexican challenger, Mario Cazares, in one round.
Most recently, Morrell has joined forces with legendary trainer Ronnie Shields. He will be headlining his third FOX card in less than a year and working the main event in back-to-back shows at The Armory.
Fighting out of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Alantez Fox is the older brother of welterweight contender Mykal Fox and is trained by father, Troy Fox.
Fox began his professional career in 2010 at the age of eighteen and went on a 23-0-1 run in his first twenty-four bouts, competing as a junior middleweight and middleweight. Losses to Demetrius Andrade and Liam Williams in 2017 and 2019, respectively, prompted a move to super middleweight, where he’s 2-0. In his last contest, he stopped cagey veteran Manny Woods in seven rounds on the Morrell-Mario Cazares undercard.
At stake is Morrell’s WBA super middleweight title, as well as a move up the ladder in the lucrative 168-pound division where a blockbuster bout with four-division champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is the ultimate prize.
Morrell is a multi-faceted boxing prodigy gifted with quick, heavy hands and outstanding athleticism. Thanks to his amateur experience, he has poise and ring instincts well beyond his years.
The explosive southpaw has a myriad of punches at his disposal, can throw from all angles, and is fluid in delivery. He works well from the inside as well as the outside and is adept at controlling both the space and pace of a bout. His best offensive weapon is probably a jarring straight left hand, but everything he throws is meaningful.
On defense, Morrell is intuitive and technically sound, although he’s yet to be truly tested in the pro ranks.
“ I can’t wait to feel the energy of the fans again and continue to show why I’m a force in the super middleweight division. ” Undefeated WBA World Super Middleweight Champion - David Morrell Jr.
Fox is tall and lanky at 6-foot-4 and does his best ring work when he fights like a tall and lanky fighter.
When moving, jabbing, and fighting at the right rhythm and space, the 29-year-old is a tough stylistic challenge. In optimal form, he uses a check hook, uppercut, and straight right hand as his primary weapons, all delivered from the outside, at his long arm’s length, with a good amount of lateral movement.
The problem is that he’s not always consistent in employing all of his assets. For a boxer with a near 80-inch reach, he doesn’t use his jab often enough or as the effective table-setter it could be. He’s also inconsistent in utilizing his movement.
Fox has good reflexes on defense, but can be caught on counters—especially with an opponent’s right hand coming over a lazy jab.
David Morrell Jr.
“I’m thankful to my whole team for this opportunity to once again perform in front of my fans at The Armory in Minneapolis. We had a great night there in June and we’ve been building on that all training camp. I can’t wait to feel the energy of the fans again and continue to show why I’m a force in the super middleweight division.”
“I’m excited to be fighting for my first world title — it’s ‘SlyAza’ Fox on FOX! This is an early Christmas gift. Get your shopping done, get home and be ready for a show. I always stay ready and I’m going to make sure to take full advantage of this opportunity. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this shot and I’m going to bring the title back home with me.”
There’s no getting around the fact that Morrell is next-level gifted. He’s coming into Saturday’s bout as the favorite and, if everything plays out true to form, he should emerge victorious in usual exciting fashion.
Fox is no patsy, though. He has the raw ability and all-around skills to complicate Morrell’s march to stardom, if not completely halt it. When he puts everything together and fights up to his full potential, he can be a tricky, awkward opponent. He won’t come into this fight with his usual edge in speed and, with only a half-inch reach advantage, a “fight on the perimeter” strategy will be tough to establish. So, if he wants to have a chance at the upset, he’ll have to be sharp, execute flawlessly, and have the resolve to survive some early rough patches.
The problem is that Morrell is just so good, so in control, and has, thus far, shown himself to be utterly unflappable in the ring. It’s hard to imagine a scenario at this stage of his career where he’s not in full control and not bending an opponent under the weight of his will.
Morrell-Fox this Saturday could very well showcase another virtuoso performance from a young master right on the verge of breaking through to next-level stardom. In a division currently ruled by unified champ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, David Morrell Jr. is looking to make his case as the next big thing.
For a closer look at Morrell vs Fox, check out our fight night page.
- Morrell vs Fox