David Morrell stops overmatched Sena Agbeko in Showtime finale

Showtime boxing went out with brutal knockout.

That’s thanks to gifted 168-pounder David Morrell, who stopped fellow contender Sena Agbeko midway through the second round of a scheduled 12-round bout Saturday night at The Armory in Minneapolis.

Morrell (10-0, 9 KOs) is only 25. He promised the best is yet to come.

“I’m teaching everyone who is number one,” he said. “I’m ready. I tell everybody, my team, my family. I’m looking forward to next year. For now, I feel happy. Right now, I’m going to go to my house for Christmas and focus on next year.”

Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs) obviously wasn’t ready for Morrell, who toyed with the Ghanaian from the opening bell.

The former youth amateur star from Cuba poked and prodded, looking for openings for his dangerous power punches as Abegko backpedaled until Morrell finally found the mark.

A right uppercut followed by a short left stunned Agbeko and forced him into a corner, where Morrell unloaded a series of damaging blows to the head and body and took nothing in return.

That prompted referee Mark Nelson to jump between them and stop the fight, which saved Agbeko from taking unnecessary punishment. The official time of the stoppage was 1:43 of Round 2.

Morrell landed 68% of his power shots, according to CompuBox, an indication of how dominating he was.

The victory won’t change the way Morrell is perceived because of Agbeko’s limitations but this one was special for Morrell, whose parents were able to travel from Cuba to see him fight in person for the first time.

“Everybody came out for my fight and it’s still very exciting,” Morrell said. “This is the first time my dad and my mom came to watch me fight, so it’s really special to have them here. It’s my night. It’s my time.

“It’s my year, and I’m looking forward to a good 2024.”

He hopes the year will include a meeting with the man he has been chasing for some time, top contender David Benavidez.

Morrell probably will have to wait, as Benavidez is pursing a showdown with undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez for Cinco de Mayo weekend and doesn’t seem interested in meeting his young rival right away. However, Morrell remains focused on the opponent he believes could make him a star.

“In 2024, I want to fight Benavidez,” he said. “One hundred percent.”

The fight won’t be on Showtime, which signed off after showcasing boxing for most of the past four decades. The premium network had partnered the past few years with Premier Boxing Champions, which recently announced a deal with Prime Video.

Many of the most memorable fights in history have been televised on the premium network.

Longtime interviewer Jim Gray spoke for many when he said after the fight, “The echoes of the past will forever be etched in our hearts as the boxers and legendary fights that took place on Showtime have left an indelible impression.

“So we take both the sweetness of these cherished memories and the sorrow of this farewell.”


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