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Morrell vs Yerbossynuly Card Preview: Is David Morrell The Next Face of Cuban Boxing?

(Photo via Premier Boxing Champions)

Showtime Championship Boxing is back this weekend with a tripleheader headlined by David Morrell (7-0, 6 KOs) defending his WBA “Regular” Super Middleweight Title against mandatory challenger Aidos Yerbossynuly (16-0, 11 KOs). Morrell is making the fourth defense of his title, and this one is against what should be the stiffest test of his young pro career. Yerbossynuly, like Morrell, was a decorated amateur and is hoping that his success will carry over to the professional ranks. The undefeated Kazak has picked up back to back quality victories over Issah Samir (19-1, 16 KOs)and Lennox Allen (22-2-1, 14 KOs) which set him up for this title opportunity. Morrell has been moved on a fast track since turning pro, with his last six opponents including Yerbossynuly compiling a combined record of 120-6-4. He is hoping that with an impressive performance this weekend he can land a marquee fight against one of the elite names in the 168lb division. Fights with former champions David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) and Caleb Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) are makable fights that would prove if Morrell has truly arrived as an elite 168lber.

Cuba has always been the powerhouse country of amateur boxing, but they have also had their fair share of successful pros. This most recent generation of Cuban professional boxing was dominated by elite level talents Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-3, 13 KOs), Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-5, 18 KOs), and Erislandy Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs), as they all have held multiple world titles during their peaks. With all three of those fighters now in the twilight stages of their career, it is time for the next batch of Cuban boxers to step up to the plate and continue the storied tradition. Along with Morrell, featherweight contender Robeisy Ramirez (11-1, 7 KOs) is hoping to fill the shoes of the Cuban greats that they looked up to growing up. I expect Morrell to continue on the path to becoming one of Cuba’s next professional boxing icons this weekend. An impressive stoppage victory over an undefeated guy like Yerbossynuly would be the next step in eventually becoming a new generation Cuban icon.

(Photo via Premier Boxing Champions)

Former Unified Junior Middleweight Champion Jeison Rosario (23-3-1, 17 KOs) hopes to make a statement in his new division in this weekend’s Showtime Co-Main Event. He was originally set to face Yoelvis Gomez (6-0, 5 KOs) before he withdraw due to injury, and will now be facing Brian Mendoza (20-2, 14 KOs). Rosario was at the top of the 154lb division just two years ago and with an impressive victory he is looking to get back into a major opportunity at 160lbs. If he is able to get back to the version of himself that knocked out Julian Williams, who is also on this undercard, then Rosario can certainly be a player in the not so strong middleweight division. Mendoza is a solid fighter who earned a victory over Thomas LaManna (33-5-1, 13 KOs) in 2020 before dropping a unanimous decision to rising 154lber Jesus Ramos (19-0, 15 KOs). Rosario had a tough time making the 154lb limit, so I believe that 160lbs is much better suited for him. I think we will see a bigger, faster, and stronger version of him at this weight, and as a result I think he should be able to get the job done and add another victory to his record.

Fiodor Czerkaszyn (20-0, 13 KOs) will open up the Showtime Championship Boxing telecast against rugged veteran Nathaniel Gallimore (22-5-1, 17 KOs). Gallimore has been in the ring with a number of 154lb contenders, including former world champions Jeison Rosario, Julian Williams, Patrick Teixeira (31-4, 22 KOs), along with top contenders Erickson Lubin (24-2, 17 KOs) and Sebastian Fundora (20-0-1, 13 KOs). This should serve as a measuring stick to see where Czerkaszyn stacks up compared to his contemporaries, and with an impressive outing he hopes to get an opportunity against one if the division’s elite.

(Photo via Boxing Scene)

There are two other high profile fights on this card, and though they are not on the standard Showtime Boxing card I am glad to see that they are still available to watch live on Showtime’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Former Unified Junior Middleweight Champion Julian “J Rock” Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs) returns against Argentinian Veteran Rolando Mansilla (18-11-1, 8 KOs). Williams burst onto the scene when he defeated Jarrett Hurd (24-2, 16 KOs) to become the unified 154lb champion in May of 2019, but unfortunately for him his reign was short lived. As mentioned earlier, he was stopped by Jeison Rosario in round five of his first unified title defense and has not been back in the win column since. He returned last year on the Wilder vs Fury III undercard, where he was upset and lost a split decision to Vladimir Hernandez (13-5, 6 KOs). I believe that J Rock will get back in the win column this weekend, and with the victory he puts himself back in play for a big fight at either 154 or 160lbs in the near future.

(Photo via MMA Odds Breaker)

Andre Dirrell (28-3, 18 KOs) is also in action on the Facebook/YouTube stream this Saturday night. The former interim IBF Super Middleweight Titleholder is now competing in the light heavyweight division, and he will be opposite longtime Cuban 175lb contender Yunieski Gonzalez (21-4, 17 KOs). Dirrell has only fought once in the last three years, and considering that this is a very tough opponent to be matched against. Gonzalez, unlike Dirrell, is a career light heavyweight and should be the much larger of the two come fight night. He is coming off of a knockout loss to Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs), where he gave more resistance than many expected to the Mexican star before he was stopped in the tenth round. I could see either guy coming out of this matchup victorious, and certainly suggest tuning into not only the Showtime Championship Boxing main card, but also the prelim bouts that are live on Showtime’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

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Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly