David Morrell understands the criticism and that it’s his job to prove he belongs on this stage.

It’s among the many challenges that the Cuban standout is willing to embrace this early in his career.

The 22-year old southpaw from Minneapolis by way of Santa Clara, Cuba claimed an interim super middleweight title in just his third pro fight. The opportunity for Morrell (3-0, 2KOs) to upgrade could come relatively early in 2021, provided all goes well this Saturday.

Morell faces Mike Gravonski (26-3-1, 16KOs) atop the 2020 season finale of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox, live from Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California.

“I’m super happy, thankful for the opportunity to be able to fight before the year ends,” Morrell told BoxingScene.com, through translator and rising super middleweight prospect Maidel Sando. “Hopefully next year, we can fight more often and keep developing my skills.”

Morrell appeared on this very platform less than five months ago, outpointing unbeaten Lennox Allen this past August 8th at nearby Microsoft Theater. The win netted him an interim version of the real super middleweight title now in the possession of pound-for-pound king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. From a sanctioning body standpoint, this puts Morrell on a path to potentially land a jackpot payday should such a fight ever be enforced, or a more likely scenario of his eventually challenging for a vacant title.

Either way, Morrell is in a very good place for a boxer only 16 months into the pros and entering just his fourth fight. Naturally, such advancement comes with pushback from industry naysayers who insist the move is too much, too soon for the Cuban export.

The goal from the moment Morrell entered the pro ranks—after amassing a 135-2 record in the amateur ranks before relocating to the U.S.—was to embark on an ambitious schedule that would lead precisely to this point within two years. The understanding was that it would come with resistance, to which he prefers his actions to speak much louder than his words.

“I take all of the criticism as motivation and inspiration,” admits Morrell, who trains with reigning interim welterweight titlist Jamal James at Circle of Discipline Gym in Minneapolis. “I know a lot of people think this is too soon for me. They base that on my record, that I only have three fights.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it’s my job to prove them wrong.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox