By Jake Donovan
There was not any confusion surrounding the weight for David Morrell Jr’s latest bout.
The prodigious super middleweight talent is set to make the first defense of his WBA “World” super middleweight title versus Mexico’s Mario Cazares (12-0, 5KOs). Both boxers came in under the 168-pound divisional limit for their scheduled 12-round main event atop a special Sunday edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Morrell (4-0, 3KOs)—a locally-based super middleweight by way of Santa Clara, Cuba—weighed 167.2 pounds, while Cazares checked in at a trim and fit 166.6 pounds.
The bout marks the third consecutive Fox primetime appearance for Morrell, though a bit of a weigh-in stir surrounded his last performance. The 23-year-old Cuban southpaw weighed 170 pounds on Christmas Day for his December 26 headliner versus Mike Gavronski, who weighed 167 ½ pounds and of the belief that he would be challenging for the secondary WBA super middleweight title. There existed a contract clause, however, noting that the bout could be changed to a non-title affair above the limit, which became the case unbeknownst to the media.
Morrell went on to win by third-round knockout, the fight coming more than four months after soundly outpointing unbeaten Lennox Allen to win the WBA interim title last August 8 in Los Angeles. The win came on the undercard of Circle of Discipline training stablemate Jamal James, who outpointed Thomas Dulorme to win an interim WBA welterweight belt.
Cazares enters on the heels of by far the biggest win of his career. The 30-year-old Culiacan, Mexico native prevailed in a technical decision win over celebrated countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last September 25 in Tijuana. The fight served as his first scheduled ten-round affair, though a headbutt forced an early ending to the contest.
The evening’s chief support pits rising cruiserweight contender Efetobor Apochi in a ten-round bout versus fellow unbeaten Brandon Glanton (13-0, 11KOs). Apochi weighed 199.2 pounds, while Atlanta’s Glandon was 200.4 pounds.
Apochi (11-0, 11KOs) enjoys a quick turnaround, having scored a sensational third-round knockout of undefeated Deon Nicholson on the April 17 edition of PBC on Fox. The Houston-based Nigerian slugger punched his way into title contention with the win in the title eliminator.
Opening the telecast, undefeated junior welterweight prospect Omar Juarez (11-0, 5KOs) weighed 142.4 pounds for his scheduled 10-round contest versus Philippines All Rivera (21-5, 18KOs), who weighed 142.2 pounds.
Juarez fights for the fifth time in less than eleven months, all coming on a Fox platform since the pandemic. The bout marks the fourth consecutive appearance on Fox’s flagship network for the 22-year-old Brownsville, Texas native, who is coming off of a ten-round unanimous decision over Elias Damian Araujo this past April 17 in Los Angeles.
Below are the weights for the remaining undercard bouts.
Ve Shawn Owens (11-2, 10KOs), Minneapolis, 140 pounds vs. Joseph Francisco (8-2, 3KOs), Jacksboro, Tennessee, 139.8 pounds—6/8 round swing bout, junior welterweight
Angel Chavez (3-0, 3KOs), Merced, California, 169.4 pounds vs. Arsenio Hall (2-2, 2KOs), Columbia, South Carolina, 169.8 pounds—4 round swing bout, super middleweight
Leon Lawson III (14-0, 7KOs), Flint, Michigan, 153.2 pounds vs. Nathaniel Gallimore (21-5-1, 17KOs), Chicago, 153.2 pounds—10 rounds, junior middleweight
Atif Oberlton (2-0, 2KOs), Philadelphia, 175 pounds vs. Jasper McCargo (4-1-2, 2KOs), Monterey, California, 177 pounds—8 rounds, light heavyweight
Travon Marshall (1-0, 1KO), Capitol Heights, Maryland, 153.2 pounds vs. Ruben Torres (4-1, 1KO), Sacramento, 151.8 pounds—4 rounds, junior middleweight
Alantez Fox (27-2-1, 12KOs), Washington, D.C., 166.8 pounds vs. Manny Woods (17-11-1, 6KOs), Tampa, 166.2 pounds—8 rounds, super middleweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox