Undefeated Cuban David Morrell has been upgraded to WBA ‘Regular’ super-middleweight title holder by the sanctioning body and must face fellow southpaw John Ryder in his first act as champion.
Morrell, a pro for just 17 months, was previously the WBA’s ‘Interim’ belt holder and will now become the organisation’s second tier champion at 168lbs after WBA ‘Super’ king Canelo Alvarez. At 4-0, 3 KOs, the Cuban has been fast-tracked as a professional and illustrated his promise with a wide points win over the previously unbeaten Lennox Allen last August.
Islington’s Ryder (29-5, 16 KOs) has been patiently waiting for his shot after losing a contested points verdict to former WBA ‘Super’ champ Callum Smith in Liverpool in November 2019. The clever Ryder proved that night in Smith’s hometown that he is a viable contender at 168lbs and he’ll be banking on that experience and ring craft against former amateur star Morrell, still only 23.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Minneapolis-based Morrell told journalist George Ebro. “Being elevated to ‘Regular’ champion motivates me to move forward and secure more victories. I have a major challenge ahead of me and I intend to defend my title at all costs.”
Warrior Boxing Promotions, on behalf of Morrell, now has just 30 days to arrange a clash with Matchroom Boxing, representing Ryder, before the bout heads to purse bids.
“David Morell is an off-the-box talent and over time you’ll see his enormous talent,'” added Warrior Boxing’s COO Luis DeCubas,. “We’re confident that he will be able to defeat Ryder because he possesses superior qualities within the ring.
“The first time I laid eyes on David Morrell. I saw a bigger and better Vasilliy Lomachenko with power in both hands.”
The seasoned Ryder, 32, will undoubtedly relish that challenge.
Main image: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions.