Morrell Beats Gavronski on FOX
By Caryn A. Tate on December 26, 2020
David Morrell was simply on a different level. (Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions)
The main event was a fight at super middleweight between Cuban prospect David Morrell (4-0, 3 KOs) and Mike Gavronski (26-4-1, 16 KOs) over 10 rounds.
From the first bell the veteran Gavronski just couldn't get out of the way of Morrell's shots. Morrell threw in volume, unusual for a super middleweight, and his shots were accurate and awkward—as a southpaw, Morrell didn't often throw the straight left, but when he let it go it was done as more of a hook, which made it that much harder for Gavronski to see it coming.
Morrell threw a picture-perfect 1-2-3 (jab, left hand, right hook) to drop Gavronski heavily at the end of round 1. He was in over his head.
Referee Jack Reiss could be seen in the corner after the first, talking to Gavronski's corner about how their man was doing. He was setting up the idea of stopping the fight, wisely seeing that Gavronski was in very tough.
The second round was more of the same. Gavronski showed a lot of heart; despite getting caught every which way, he never seemed to want out. But Morrell was simply on a different level from him.
In the third, Gavronski was taking more and more punishment. Referee Reiss stepped in and waved it off.
Morrell is the "interim" WBA super middleweight champion, which puts him in line (eventually) to fight for Canelo Alvarez's WBA world title. Morrell is inexperienced at the pro level now, but if he keeps stepping up his level of opposition and looking this commanding, he'll be ready for Canelo before long.
Earlier, young 122-pound prospect Angel Barrientes (3-1, 2 KOs) faced Travon Lawson (4-0, 3 KOs) in a 6-rounder. Barrientes was the favorite despite both men entering the bout undefeated.
Barrientes did well in the early rounds, but in the fourth he got caught suddenly by a right hand from Lawson that seemed to stun him; more right hands followed and Barrientes went down. Referee Edward Hernandez Sr. spoke with Barrientes after he rose, asking him if he wanted to continue. It was clear Barrientes was dazed; his body language showed that his legs weren't steady, and he muttered an affirmative answer to the ref's question. The referee wasn't convinced Barrientes could defend himself, so he waved off the fight. It was a good call.
Knockout veteran James Kirkland (34-3, 30 KOs) faced Juan Macias Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight contest. Kirkland, now 36, was out of the ring for over a year. He last fought in November 2019, and was out of the ring for four years before returning last year to fight a couple of lower-level fighters. Montiel, by contrast, came in with a 100% knockout rate—never a good thing to come back against after a long layoff.
Despite starting the fight carelessly, with his hands low, Montiel was able to catch Kirkland unawares with a short left hook that dropped him in the corner. Kirkland was a bit hurt, but not several years ago he would have been able to bounce back quickly, but he’s been too inactive, he’s too old, and he’s taken too much damage over the years.
It was clear Kirkland’s reflexes aren’t right. Even aside from him being hurt in this fight, he just didn’t seem capable of knowing which punches were coming the way most top-level fighters do (even those without the best defense). Not long after, Montiel caught Kirkland again and dropped him. Kirkland made it up but then was dropped a third time, slumped at the bottom of the ropes, and the referee waved it off.
The first fight of the broadcast featured super lightweights Jesus Ramos (14-0, 13 KOs) and Naim Nelson (14-5, 1 KO) in a 10-rounder. Ramos, a tall, long 19-year-old looked like he was in a different weight class from Nelson. The latter tried his best, but he wasn’t able to hang with Ramos and was dropped in both rounds 3 and 4 before the fight was waved off in the corner at the urging of the doctor.