Michael Rosenthal shares his thoughts on last Saturday's final boxing card on SHOWTIME.
David Morrell Jr. kept his knockout streak alive and had a special night from a personal perspective. Jose Valenzuela made sure that the judges didn’t decide the outcome of his rematch with Chris Colbert. Robert Guerrero and Andre Berto gave us the opportunity to reminisce.
And, sadly, the boxing world said goodbye to a platform that has showcased many of its greatest fights over the past four decades.
Here are some next-day thoughts on each of the featured fights and some bonus takes.
David Morrell TKO 2 Sena Agbeko
David Morrell had a memorable night for a number of reasons.
The WBA super middleweight titleholder made quick work of the contender from Ghana, walking him down for a round and a half and then lowering the boom. A right-left combination stunned Agbeko and forced him into a corner, where Morrell’s killer instinct took over. He landed a series of hellacious power shots and took nothing in return, giving referee Mark Nelson no choice but to end the slaughter.
Morrell has now stopped seven consecutive opponents, bolstering his credentials as a bona fide threat to anyone in his division. “I’m teaching everyone who is number one,” he said in the ring afterward.
The fight was special to him another way, too: It was the first time his parents were able to travel from Cuba to watch him fight in person. We can only imagine how much that means to a fighter who leaves his country and loved ones – perhaps forever – to pursue his dreams.
And Morrell can always say that he delivered a knockout in the final fight on SHOWTIME. How many athletes are the answer to such a trivia question?
What’s next for Morrell, who, at 25, is really just getting started? He called out the man he has been pursuing for some time, undefeated two-time super middleweight world champion David Benavidez. That fight might not happen right away because Benavidez has another challenge in mind but such matchups are on the horizon.
Then we’ll know with certainly whether Morrell is the special fighter he appears to be.
Jose Valenzuela KO 6 Chris Colbert
Jose Valenzuela left no doubt this time. The 24-year-old Mexican ended up on the wrong end of a disputed decision the first time he met Colbert, last March. He took the judges out of the picture in the rematch on the Morrell-Agbeko card.
Valenzuela put Colbert down in the opening round, as he did in the first fight. Only this time he didn’t give his rival the opportunity to regroup, maintaining pressure and landing one hard shot after another until finally he ended matters with a huge right hook that put Colbert down and out in round six.
The victory snapped a mini losing streak at two fights, the first being a knockout against Edwin De Los Santos in September of last year. And his superb performance put the other top 135-pounders on notice that he’s a player in the division once again.
The fight was billed as a WBA title eliminator. Valenzuela hopes that will get him a shot at the top dog in the division.
“This was a title eliminator. And I want to fight for the title. Tank Davis, let’s get it on,” he said.
Colbert? The skill set and heart is there, perhaps the size and strength isn’t. Maybe the New Yorker should consider a move back down to 130 if he can do it. And listening to his trainer in the corner wouldn’t hurt.
Robert Guerrero UD Andre Berto
Guerrero and Berto aren’t the fighters they once were, which makes sense given their age (both are 40) and lack of activity recently.
They can still box a little, however. And they certainly haven’t lost their fighting spirit. It was obvious that they relished the chance to get back into the ring even if they’re a step slower than they were in their primes. That’s what made their rematch on the Morrell-Agbeko card fun to watch.
Guerrero was a little busier than Berto, which evidently impressed the judges. The rancher from Gilroy, California, won the 10-round 149-pound fight by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92, a repeat of his unanimous decision victory in 2012.
The winner was tickled to have his hand raised, the loser disappointed that he failed to avenge his earlier setback. The fans probably weren’t as invested as the participants. They simply enjoyed the opportunity to see two accomplished fighters of the past generation do their thing one more time.
So long to SHOWTIME
What can we say? The great Marvin Hagler knocked out John “The Beast” Mugabi in the 11th round on the premiere broadcast of SHOWTIME Championship Boxing in 1986. And the premium network has showcased many of the most important fights in history and countless thrills ever since. The fans will remember those nights, the quality of the productions and the brilliant voices on the broadcast teams. Boxing insiders will also remember the talented, hard-working people who helped drive SHOWTIME Boxing behind the scenes. Premier Boxing Champions recently announced its exciting new partnership with Prime Video, which begins next month, but we’ll never forget the Showtime years.
Unbeaten Alberto Puello (22-0, 10 KOs) gave a strong performance in his first fight since he failed a drug test in April, which cost him his 140-pound title and a high-profile fight with Rolando Romero. The Dominican easily outpointed Ector Madera (11-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round 147-pound matchup on the Morrell-Agbeko card. … Kyrone Davis won his second consecutive fight since he was stopped by Benavidez in 2021, defeating Cruse Stewart (8-3, 6 KOs) by a close, but unanimous decision in an eight-round middleweight bout. Davis remains a legitimate opponent for anyone in or near his division. … And talented Michael Angeletti (10-0, 7 KOs) maintained his perfect record and momentum against Angel Contreras (13-8-2, 7 KOs) on the Morrell-Agbeko show, winning a clear decision in an eight-round bantamweight fight. Angeletti, 27, is ready for 10-rounders and bigger-name opponents.
For a closer look at Morrell vs Agbeko, check out our fight night page.