David Morell Jr. thought he wasn't going to fight again until next year. But for several weeks he had been warned to be ready by December 26. Just after Christmas Day, the Cuban will return to the ring in Los Angeles in a Premier Boxing Champions main event on FOX.
The interim-WBA super middleweight champion will face Mike Gavronski on Saturday, in his first defense, from the Auditorium and Expo Hall.
Morell took a huge step in his professional career this past August when he captured the WBA strap by beating Lennox Allen by unanimous decision, after securing two fast-track victories in his first two performances against Quinton Rankin and Yendris Rodríguez.
Now he gets the opportunity to close out the year for PBC.
"Actually, I was getting ready for a fight on January 16, two days before my birthday. But they called me and asked me if I was active and I was told to step up [my training], because there was a chance of fighting on December 26th. I said there were no problems and here I am," Morrell told George Ebro.
"I've seen two of [Gavronski's] fights on Youtube and I have an idea [of what I need to do], but I'm more focused on my workouts, on what I can do in all the scenarios by the time the fight comes. It's more about my abilities and possibilities than what he does.''
"[Making my first defense is] like starting a chain that I don't want to end. As long as I've read boxing history, I see champions who made so many defenses of their title. I want them to say that about me too, this is a first step in that direction and I hope it's not the last one.''
One possible opponent down the line, is the hard-punching Puerto Rican Edgar Berlanga, who blasted out his fist 16 opponents - all in the first round.
While some fighters in the division have been critical of Berlanga's opposition, Morrell is not going to downplay his KO run.
"I don't take credit away from any boxer and I'm not going to do it now. I congratulate him on all the victories he's achieved and wish him many more. People sometimes talk without knowing. He's 23, I'm 22. A fight between us would be something for the future. I still don't have to think about those things. Right now my mind is on the 26th of the month," Morrell said.