WBA Super Middleweight Champion(secondary) David Morrell Jr. (7-0, 6 KOs) delivered a bruising fourth-round TKO over Kalvin Henderson (15-2-1, 11 KOs), thrilling the fans in his adopted hometown.
“I’m excited,” said Morrell. “Thank you everyone for coming out to The Armory. I’m just happy, man. I’m happy. I’m so excited every time I fight in my new home in Minnesota. I made this place my home.”
Competing in his third-straight bout at The Armory, Morrell gave his fans what they came out to see, stepping to Henderson early and often and putting his opponent on the defensive. Morrell showed a dedicated intention on attacking his opponent’s body, racking up a 26-3 edge in body punches landed, before mixing it up with hooks and uppercuts.
Photo: Ryan Hafney/PBC
Henderson was game for the challenge, hanging on the ropes and slinging counters to try to deter the charging Morrell, but was overwhelmed by the punching accuracy of Morrell (37% to 11%). Late in round three, Morrell broke through for the first time, connecting on a right hook that left Henderson visibly hurt on the ropes.
“We knew that he wanted to come out strong like he did, but we wanted to show that his punches weren’t doing anything,” said Henderson. “We were picking off most of those shots. We were trying to wear him out, and the game plan was working but he landed some shots and the referee called it.”
Morrell continued to swing aggressively throughout the final moments of the round, although Henderson was able to withstand the punishment and stay on his feet until the bell rang. While Henderson made it out for round four, Morrell remained patient until he found an opening and landed his right hook, hurting Henderson again and eventually forcing referee Luis Pabon to waive off the contest 2:35 into the frame.
“I want to thank my trainer Ronnie Shields, who did an excellent job today,” said Morrell. “That’s what our game plan was, to be concentrated and if I didn’t get him by the end of the first round, I was looking to get him in the later rounds.”
“I’m a fighter at heart and I compete so when he stopped the fight, I was upset,” said Henderson. “But I understand, the referee is just doing his job.”
After the fight, Morrell declared his intention to face the best at 168-pounds.
“It’s David Benavidez, it’s Caleb Plant, it’s Anthony Dirrell, it’s whoever wants to get in the ring with me,” said Morrell. “I’m ready for any of them.”
Rising unbeaten heavyweight Michael Coffie will face Jonathan Rice in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes, this Saturday, July 31 from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Coffie was originally scheduled to face former title challenger Gerald Washington, who was forced to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test.
The FOX broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also see James Martin battle welterweight prospect and New Jersey-native Vito Mielnicki Jr. in an eight-round rematch in the co-main event and unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer take on Dan Karpency in an eight-round showdown.
At 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT following the FOX broadcast will be FS1 PBC Fight Night topped by veteran contender and Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell competing for the second time at light heavyweight as he faces Philadelphia’s Christopher Brooker in a 10-round fight. The FS1 telecast also features unbeaten featherweight prospect Maliek Montgomery dueling Ángel Contreras in a 10-round attraction and top welterweight prospect Paul Kroll squaring off against Justin DeLoach in a 10-round showdown.
The non-televised undercard will feature unbeaten Patterson, New Jersey-native Norman Neely (8-0, 7 KOs) in a six-round heavyweight attraction against Texas’ Juan Torres (6-3-1, 3 KOs), Philadelphia-born super lightweight contender Karl Dargan (19-1, 9 KOs) battling Los Angeles-native Ivan Delgado (13-3-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round attraction, Maryland’s Keeshawn Williams (7-0-1, 2 KOs) taking on Missouri’s Noah Kidd (6-3-2, 5 KOs in a six-round welterweight tilt and Newark’s own Michael Anderson (20-3-1, 14 KOs) in a six-round welterweight bout facing Tennessee’s DeMarcus Rogers (14-3-1, 5 KOs).
Rounding out the night of action is Denville, New Jersey’s Nicky Vitone looking to remain unbeaten in a four-round welterweight fight against Jordan Rosario, unbeaten Philadelphia-born prospect Quadir Albright taking on Jared Tallent in a six-round super welterweight tilt and the pro debut of Avenel, New Jersey’s Malik Nelson in a four-round super featherweight duel versus Alejandro Ramirez.
A Marine Corps veteran who picked up boxing after returning from overseas, Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) quickly impressed in amateur tournaments enough to earn sparring assignments with Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki. The 35-year-old was born in the Bronx, but now trains in Orlando, Florida. Coffie broke through in 2020 by stopping previously unbeaten Luis Pena in the fifth round of their August matchup before earning a TKO over Joey Abell in November. Coffie added a highlight-reel knockout over previously unbeaten Darmani Rock in January of this year.
Born in South Carolina and now fighting out of Los Angeles, Rice (13-6-1, 9 KOs) won six of seven fights from 2018 through 2019. The 34-year-old will look to bounce back from a pair of losses in 2020 against unbeatens Efe Ajagba and Demsey McKean. In a pro career that dates back to 2014, the blemishes on Rice’s records have all come against previously unbeaten fighters as he looks to offer a stiff test to the so far undefeated Coffie.
An accomplished veteran contender in the 168-pound division, Dirrell (34-2-1, 25 KOs) returns to the ring for the second time at light heavyweight after a successful debut in December 2021 in which he knocked out Juan Ubaldo Cabrera in round five. The Flint, Michigan native and brother of two-time champion Anthony, Dirrell won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and lost narrow decisions in world title fights against Carl Froch and James DeGale. Dirrell will be opposed by the 30-year-old Philadelphia-native Brooker (16-7, 6 KOs), who has scored a pair of victories so far in 2021. Prior to those two triumphs, Brooker’s previous two outings saw him drop a June 2019 contest to Michael Seals and defeat Lanell Bellows in September 2018.
The 25-year-old Montgomery (10-0, 10 KOs) turned pro in 2017 after an impressive amateur career that included two national Golden Gloves titles and victories over recognizable names such as Edgar Berlanga, Keeshawn Williams and Joseph Adorno, to name a few. The Macon, Georgia born fighter has stopped all 10 of his opponents inside of the distance in his pro career to date. He will face the 27-year-old Contreras (10-4-2, 6 KOs), who most recently fought unbeaten prospect Jalan Walker to a draw in April. The Monterrey, Mexico native’s previous outing had seen him drop a narrow split-decision against super bantamweight contender Ramon Cardenas in February.
A decorated U.S. amateur from the fighter-rich city of Philadelphia, Kroll (8-0, 6 KOs) turned pro in August 2018 with a first-round stoppage of DeAngelo Alcorn. The 26-year-old ended his first four fights inside of two rounds before going the distance and beating then unbeaten Shinard Bunch in August 2019. Most recently, Kroll’s 2020 campaign saw him score a TKO victory over Marcel Rivers in January and a unanimous decision over Luke Santamaria on FS1 in October. He will be opposed by DeLoach (19-5, 10 KOs), who will look to return to the win column after dropping his last contest to unbeaten welterweight Eimantas Stanionis in November. The 27-year-old from Augusta, Georgia put together an impressive run in 2017, defeating three-straight unbeaten fighters in Dillon Cook, Junior Castillo and Domonique Dolton, before knocking out Christopher Pearson in 2017.
Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions
We caught up with legendary cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran after the big fights at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md on Saturday night. Duran was in the corner of super-middleweight contender Andre Dirrell as he battled Jose Uzcategui. After the bell sounded to end the eighth-round, Uzcategui hit and dropped Dirrell. Dirrell was unable to continue, and Uzcategui would be disqualified.
However, what happened after the fight is what has people talking. Dirrell’s uncle/trainer Leon Lawson Jr. sucker punched Uzcategui, while the fighter stood in the corner.
Lawson, who reportedly will be charged with assault, is still on the run.
Duran talks about what he saw with Dirrell-Uzcategu and Joshua-Klitschko.
Take a listen: