David Morrell Jr. is still buzzing over the hometown reception he enjoyed in his most recent ring appearance.

The unbeaten WBA “World” super middleweight titlist enjoyed a main event slot at The Armory in Minneapolis, where he now lives and trains. The venue served as the site for his pro debut and also his first title defense, which saw Morrell (5-0, 4KOs) register a first-round knockout of Mexico’s Mario Cazares (12-1, 5KOs) atop the June 27 edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox.

A sold-out arena was all the way behind its local hero, with the event proving to be a hit at the box office and with home viewers.  

“I think I showed those watching that I’m an elite talent, someone who is always going to bring excitement to the ring,” Morrell told BoxingScene.com. “When I landed that one punch knockout, the crowd went wild, and the adrenaline rush I got was unbelievable. I know it must have been sensational on TV.  FOX by far is the most viewed boxing platform in the sport and I’m grateful to PBC, and everyone who helped with this opportunity.

“It was just a great night and I’m happy for my team, and myself for getting the knockout.”

The bout came in stark contrast to the previous two fights for Morrell, both of which took place behind closed doors. The 23-year-old Cuban southpaw appeared on the undercard of the first PBC on Fox show since the pandemic, outpointing unbeaten Lennox Allen to win the secondary WBA super middleweight title last August at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Fans were not permitted in the venue, as was also the case for his next fight just four months later. Morrell was elevated to main event status, as he scored a third-round knockout of Mike Gavronski in a non-title fight last December 26 at a crowdless Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

The win over Cazares topped the first show to take place at The Armory since August 31, 2019, when Morrell made his pro debut. The venue has long served as a boxing hotbed and is on Morrell’s wish list for his next fight, which—according to the WBA—will be a mandatory title defense versus England’s John Ryder. The two sides were ordered to re-open negotiations, with a deal to be reached by August 7 to avoid a purse bid hearing.

“I would love to fight again at home, here at the Armory,” noted Morrell. “With the crowd we just had, I think that would be a smart move. There is no better venue than The Armory. The fans are right on top of you. The energy in the building was amazing. I love fighting at home and I can see my fan base growing.”

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