In the final major card of 2020 on US soil, Cuban Super Middleweight phenom, David Morrell moved his record to 4-0 in most impressive fashion. After missing weight on the scales, the Cuban prospect David Morrell and Chicago-based gatekeeper, Mike Gravonski agreed to clash at 170-pounds. The highly touted 22-year-old Morrell gave a master class performance to close out 2020. Firing off pinpoint accurate combinations from the southpaw stance. Morrell dropped his opponent with a four-punch combination that was concluded by a picture-perfect straight left. Gravonski made it to his feet but the writing was on the wall Morrell was in complete control and it was just a matter of time. Morrell unleashed thudding uppercuts and body shots that stopped Gravonski in his tracks. The end came with just seconds left in the third when the sharpshooting Cuban landed a five punch combination capped off by a right uppercut that buckled his overwhelmed opponent and brought referee Jack Reiss in to stop the fight and give Morrell the TKO victory.
The undercard featured two upsets that ended via violent knockouts. Little known, Travon Lawson of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, turned the tide in the fourth rounds with a series of right hands that overwhelmed his highly touted opponent, Angel Barrientes. It was a left hook followed by four left hands that spelled disaster for Barrientes and gave Lawson his fourth win and third knockout in his four pro fights.
Comebacking former fan favorite knockout artist James Kirkland looked to continue his recent success and move back into relevancy in the middleweight picture. However, rugged Mexican Juan Macias Montiel had different plans and completely took apart the “Mandingo Warrior” a perfect counter left hook dropped Kirkland just about 30 seconds into the fight and he never fully recovered. Moments later a sharp right hand caught Kirkland’s attention and a couple of uppercuts put him back on the canvas. Always a game opponent Kirkland got to his feet but Montiel bum-rushed his hurt opponent unleash a violent whirlwind of power shots that put Kirkland down for a third and final time with just over a minute left in the opening round. Moving Montiel’s record to 22-4-2 with all his wins coming by way of knockout
The card also featured highly touted prospects, Jesus Ramos, Chavez Barrientes, and Omar Juarez. All three blue-chippers remained undefeated and scored stoppages in impressive fashion.
On the other side of the world, another minor upset occurred when Hironori Mishiro eeked out a close and competitive 10 round majority decision over former world champ Masayuki Ito at Sumida City Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. Mishiro took a decision by the slimmest of margins 96-94 X2 and the third card was even, 95-95. The victory is the best of Mishiro’s career and should propel him into the title picture at 130-pounds in 2021. Mishiro had previously beaten Yoshimitsu Kimura via split decision in his last fight back in December of 2019.