LAS VEGAS – David Morrell Jr. capitalized on the exposure he received Saturday night.
The unbeaten Cuban super middleweight blew out late replacement Yamaguchi Falcao in Showtime Pay-Per-View’s co-feature before Gervonta Davis fought Ryan Garcia in the main event at T-Mobile Arena. Morrell knocked Falcao stiff with a vicious right hook in the first round of a scheduled 12-round fight for Morrell’s secondary WBA super middleweight title.
Referee Celestino Ruiz waved an immediate end to the action, 2:22 into the first round, as soon as Falcao crashed to the canvas.
The 25-year-old Morrell, who lives in Minneapolis and trains in Houston, improved to 9-0 and recorded his eighth knockout. Morrell also ended Falcao’s eight-fight winning streak.
Prior to Saturday night, Falcao, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, hadn’t lost since Christopher Pearson beat him by 10-round unanimous decision in May 2019. Falcao (24-2-1, 10 KOs, 1 NC) settled for a 10-round majority draw with D’Mitrius Ballard in his fight after he lost to Pearson.
Morrell was supposed to fight Sena Agbeko on Saturday night. Falcao replaced Ghana’s Agbeko (27-2, 21 KOs) on barely one week’s notice because the Nevada State Athletic Commission denied Agbeko a license due to an abnormality detected during one of his medical exams.
It was obvious almost immediately that the 35-year-old Falcao was overmatched.
A left-right combination by Morrell wobbled Falcao, who was vulnerable, but still standing. Morrell waited for Ruiz to intervene, but he didn’t, which led to Morrell blasting him with another right hook that knocked Falcao into the ropes.
That counted as a knockdown because the ropes prevented Falcao from falling. The fight didn’t last much longer, as Morrell annihilated Falcao with the aforementioned right hook.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.