On a night when undefeated heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison won his television debut and Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk and Ivan “The Volk” Golub remained unbeaten, light heavyweight Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic regained his winning ways by registering a fifth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Travis Peterkin in the main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME Friday from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
Making his ShoBox debut and first start since suffering his lone defeat on a disputed decision to Marcus Browne, a motivated Kalajdzic (22-1, 15 KOs) of St. Petersburg, Fla., dropped Peterkin (16-1-1, 7 KOs), of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y., two times in the fifth before the fight was stopped at 1:32.
Other televised results: Baranchyk (12-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., took a 10-round unanimous decision over Wang Zhimin (7-1, 3 KOs, 7-1 WSB), of Nutley, N.J. by way of Ningbo, China, in the ShoBox co-feature; immensely popular local favorite and son of the late former world heavyweight champion, Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison (12-0, 12 KOs) demolished previously unbeaten Ed Latimore (13-1, 7 KOs), of Pittsburgh, Pa., scoring a 2:19, first-round TKO; and Ukrainian welterweight Golub (13-0, 11 KOs, 5-0 WSB), of Brooklyn, registered a third-round knockout over James Stevenson (23-3, 16 KOs), of Baltimore, Md.
Kalajdzic overwhelmed Peterkin with consistent aggression, superior fighting spirit and better power. He landed 45 percent of his power shots, including 60 percent in the final round. Plus, he led 37-7 in body connects.
“The one-dimensional nature of Travis Peterkin cost him big time because he had no answer for Hot Rod’s right hand, and when he threw his own power shots they were ineffective,’’ ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood said afterward. “He was exposed tonight, and Kalajdzic rejuvenated his career after the loss with Marcus Browne.”
A 6-foot-2 native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kalajdzic dropped Peterkin the first time with a right-left combination and finished him with a right-left-right combination. Peterkin fell heavily in a neutral corner, prompting the referee to stop it.
“He was a little bit awkward so it took me a little bit to find my range but once I did and I got into a rhythm, I knew he wasn’t going to last,’’ Kalajdzic said. “We have been working on staying patient and finding that range and it showed tonight.
“I wanted to make a statement in this fight and I did. I want the biggest names in the light heavyweight division, but before that I want Marcus Browne again. That is unfinished business for me. If he really thinks he won the fight then let’s do it again. We could fight next week. I’m ready.’’
Baranchyk, despite getting cut for the first time in his career (over his left eye in the fifth), won by the scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91. There were no knockdowns.
The rounds, particularly in the fight’s second half, were competitive. Both fighters landed a high percentage of power shots, 44 percent for Baranchyk, 41 percent for Zhimin, but the difference was that Baranchyk was busier, crisper and physically stronger.
Going more than four rounds for the first time, he answered questions about his late-round stamina and feels he is now ready to step up again.
“The 140-pound division is loaded with talent,’’ Baranchyk said. “There are tons of fighters I would love to fight, but there are two guys in particular I’d like to fight next: Maurice Hooker and Abel Ramos. Hooker is with Roc Nation and is above me in the ratings. He’s undefeated and this would be a great fight to prove I’m one of the best up-and-coming guys in this division. I’d love Ramos to fight Ramos too. We are both promoted by DBE and I have heard he called me out. He’s a come forward guy and those are the type of fights I like and that make for great TV.
“I love the fans here in Miami and I love fighting on ShoBox. This was my first time going 10 rounds and I feel great. Of course I would have liked to get the knockout because I always want to put on a spectacular show, but this was a great learning experience for me. He was an extremely tough opponent and I was surprised he was able to take so many big shots. We have been working on being patient and boxing and I was able to show that tonight.’’
Wang, who gave his best and never allowed Baranchyk to relax, said, “I felt a little tight and I couldn’t get my punches off like I wanted to. He was a little too big for me.’’
In a performance that lit up the arena, Lippe Morrison dropped Latimore two times and was on the verge of knocking him down again when the referee stepped in and halted matters at 2:19. Morrison decked Latimore the first time with a right hand midway through the first. Moments later, Latimore went down again from two rights and a left hook. After a series of shots, the referee stopped it.
“You know I have to watch the fight, but I think I did alright,’’ said Morrison after what was supposed to be the most dangerous assignment of his career. “I know I have to be patient and work behind my jab and just take the opening that I see – patiently. Being patient is something I’ve really been working on. I really felt my patience this time.
“I didn’t expect it to end this quick. I knew it might, but I didn’t plan on it. It felt good to drop a guy with my left hand. I never had the accuracy or quickness with the left that I do know. I now feel that I am equally adept with both hands. My left is like my right.
“To win a fight like this is definitely a relief. I was nervous about the fight, but not about fighting on TV. This was supposed to be my toughest fight on paper and I think I did well.
“I feel I may have opened some eyes, but that’s in large part to Freddie Roach. I feel I’m improving thanks to Freddie. I’m throwing quicker, snappier punches and the coordination between my footwork with my hands is way better. All that is because of Freddie.
“I wasn’t going for the KO but I’m glad it happened. I could not have done it without Freddie, that’s for sure. I’ll be going back to California in a week and then right to the gym.”
The knockout was Lippe Morrison’s ninth in the first round. He also has two second-round knockouts and one fourth-round KO in a career that began in February 2014.
“We want to see more of Trey Lippe Morrison,’’ Farhood said. “Let’s let Freddie Roach to do a little bit more of work with him. He had a tremendous pressure on him tonight, but he did fantastically and he responded very well. He made a big step up in class tonight and couldn’t have produced a better result: a first-round knockout.”
After a competitive, fast-paced first round, Golub took over as Stevenson appeared to tire. A picturesque right hook to the chin dropped and staggered Stevenson, who still wobbly, got up by the count of five, but Golub continued his two-fisted assault, delivered over 20 unanswered punches and the referee stopped it.
“To me the guy that stole the show was Golub,” said Farhood. “We keep thinking of him as a boxer but he showed tremendous power tonight. He knocked out a very sturdy opponent in Stevenson and Baranchyk will benefit tremendously by going 10 rounds. He showed a lot by throwing as many punches as he did late in the fight against an opponent who simply wouldn’t be hurt.’’
“I could see from the first round that he was leaving himself wide open when he was coming in,’’ said Golub after his second ShoBox start. “I knew it was only a matter of time until I caught him with something really big and I would get him out of there. I’m happy with the performance but know I still have a lot to improve on. Our game plan was to be patient and box and let him come to us. I’m looking forward to getting back in there soon and continuing to climb the ranks of the welterweight division.’’
Friday’s four-fight telecast that was promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Tony Holden Productions in association with Fight Promotions and Roc Nation Sports will re-air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND beginning today, Saturday, Sept. 24.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
The eight fighters (combined record 114-3-1, 78 knockouts) featured on the ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 23, from the Buffalo Run Casino are set to go.
In the ShoBox main event, once-beaten Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KOs), of St. Petersburg, Fla. will be opposed by undefeated Travis Peterkin (16-0-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y. in a 10-round light heavyweight scrap. Junior lightweight sensation Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (11-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., meets Wang Zhimin (7-0, 3 KOs, 7-1 WSB), of Nutley, N.J. by way of Ningbo, China, in the 10-round co-feature. Click HERE to watch a video of Baranchyk’s last fight, a 21 second KO.
Heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison (11-0, 11 KOs), of Grove, Okla., the son of the late former world heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, will make his television debut against fellow unbeaten Roc Nation prospect Ed “Black Magic” Latimore (13-0, 7 KOs), of Pittsburgh, Pa, in a six-round bout and Ukrainian welterweight Ivan “The Volk” Golub (12-0, 10 KOs, 5-0 WSB), of Brooklyn, N.Y. faces James “Keep’em Sleepin” Stevenson (23-2, 16 KOs), of Baltimore, Md., in an eight-rounder that will open the telecast.
The Weights: Kalajdzic weighed 175½ pounds, Peterkin 174; Baranchyk tipped the scale at 139¾ pounds, Zhimin 139½, Morrison weighed 221½ pounds, Latimore 219; and Golub weighed 146½ pounds, Stevenson 146.
Tickets for the event promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Tony Holden Productions in association with Roc Nation Sports are priced at $35, $55 and $75 and are available at buffalorun.com and at stubwire.com.
Below is what the fighters had to say prior to Thursday’s weigh-in:
“This is my second 10-round fight and it is against another unbeaten southpaw from New York. I’m looking forward to this fight and I’m anxious to look ahead.
“I was very upset after my last fight [a controversial decision loss to unbeaten Marcus Browne]. I wasn’t really mad necessarily at myself or my team; it was mostly the referee. Then, afterward when I saw the reaction from the fans, who totally booed the decision, even took their Marcus Browne T-shirts off, I didn’t feel so badly.
“On Friday I want to come in and look great and hopefully stop this guy. I want to look better and cleaner than I did against Browne. I fought OK against Browne, but I should have used my jab more and not allowed him to grab and hold me so much.
“I was looking too much to land my right. I know I need to do better at setting it up by jabbing first. And by punching in bunches.
“A big win Friday won’t remove the overall sting of my last fight; nothing can erase the result. But since Browne doesn’t want to give me a rematch, I’m not going to just chase him. I have to move ahead.
“Against Peterkin, I want to keep it simple – jab, move and use the right hand. I need to keep him on the end of my punches. It looks like he comes at you but I’m going to come at him, too, in a smart way. I want to try and get inside, smother him. I never got that chance against Browne because of all the holding.
“Peterkin is undefeated, durable and coming to win. I expect a very tough fight. But everything is going according to plan. I had about sixth months of preparation. The errors I made in my last fight have been fixed. They won’t happen again. I have an opportunity in this fight to erase all the bitter memories of my last fight.’’
“Making 175 pounds is OK. I can make the weight with no problem. So weight is no issue. If there was a weight class at 185, I’d probably be in it, but 175 is fine. I’m ready.
“I watched ‘Hot Rod’ closely against Browne. It was definitely a good fight. I feel Marcus could have won easily if he’d have finished the job in some of the rounds. If he stays outside he wins easily, but he wanted to make a point by going inside.
“Now ‘Hot Rod’ gets me, and this is a tremendous opportunity for me. He’s a good fighter and should have a zero there on his losses. He has power and is a decent counter-puncher. But we’ve prepared for him. We’re coming to win, box or brawl. This has been one of my best camps in a long time. I’m confident of a win.
“The key is controlling what goes on in the ring, be smart and listen to my corner. I feel this is definitely the toughest fight for me, and for him, too.
“’I’m looking forward to the fight and the opportunity to make a name for myself at 175. It’s been a long journey, but if I can be myself and do what I came here to do, I’ll be fine.’’
“This is like a second home for me, fighting in Miami. I like the people. They seem to like me. Friday should be an exciting night for everybody.
“My last two fights have ended quickly but I always train and plan to go 10 rounds. I never try for one-round knockouts. I look forward to the time when I can show off a little more of my boxing and overall skills. I do have patience.
“I think my opponent is very good and has a lot of experience. He’s better than the last two fighters I fought. I feel this fight could go some rounds. But I have power, so we’ll see.
“I work very hard in the gym. I spar 10 rounds every day. I got to spar a few rounds with Danny Garcia for this fight. Training with a world champion like him was a tremendous learning experience and it helped me a lot. I hope some of it shows on Friday.’’
“I want to thank everyone for this chance to fight. I’m prepared for everything. My opponent is a very experienced boxer with a good reputation. This is definitely a step up and my biggest fight.
“I can promise you one thing: We’ll put on an exciting show for you.
“My goal is to ultimately be fighting for a world title. It takes a lot of time, patience and work inside the gym.
“I’m known for my aggressiveness but I’m constantly working on boxing more. I feel I’ve improved a lot since I was an amateur.
“So I’m ready for this fight. He may be a big puncher but I don’t look at his numbers. This is a solid matchup, a crossroads fight and a good opportunity for both of us.’’
TREY LIPPE MORRISON
“This is a real, significant step up for me but I have to approach it like I always do.
“Moving to Hollywood [Calif.] was a big change for me, but it meant I could train with Freddie Roach. He boosted my confidence just by the fact he agreed to take me on. So he must have seen something.
“There are so many things we work on: ring generalship, footwork, things to look for, stuff to avoid.
“This is a tough fight for both of us, a dangerous test. Latimore is definitely my toughest opponent so far.
“I know a lot of people are interested in watching me and seeing how I do because of my dad. But as I go on, they’ll see I’m my own person.
“Fighting here again at the Buffalo Run is always exciting but a ring is a ring; there is no home field advantage. I certainly appreciate the fans’ support but I can’t think about it.
“One of these days I’ll fight someone who can take my shots. It might be Latimore, but if it happens, I’ll be ready for it. As for me taking a shot, I’ve been rocked in sparring but not in a live fight.
“Hurting my right hand in my last fight was a real blessing. I knew I always had power in it but now I have speed and accuracy to go along with it. My hand hasn’t given me any problems at all in training. So I don’t think about it. If I hurt it again, I’ll just deal with it and fight on.’’
FREDDIE ROACH, Morrison’s Trainer
“I was supposed to be in the Philippines, but I’m very close with Manny Pacquiao and I told him, ‘Listen, Manny, I’m going to be a week late because I have a big fight with Trey coming up,’ and he said, ‘I’ll see you in a week. Get the win.’
“We are a 100 percent ready. We have great sparring partners. We’ve done great work and I know he’s coming from a broken hand and he hasn’t fought in a while, but his strengthening and conditioning is going really well. This is going to be a great fight and I expect him to be at his best. [Looking at Ed Latimore] You are going to feel his power.
“Trey has very good power and breaking his hand helped him. We got to develop both hands and now he has knockout power in both hands.
“Ed Latimore is a very difficult opponent, but I think Trey will beat him.’
“My whole goal is to be totally calm, relaxed and in control. It’s not a physical or mental thing.
“I feel I’ve come a long way and I’m improving all the time. There were times when I was overthinking in the ring, but no more. I work on technique each and every day; my work ethic is impeccable.
“I’ve become such a better student of boxing. When I first started watching, I thought it was boring. Then I learned how to watch, and began to notice the subtle things going on. I now know what I’m looking at when I watch films and I see things totally different than I did before. Now I know what to do with what I learn.
“I may be small for a heavyweight but I’m never going to be one of those big guys so I do not put a lot of emphasis on size. If you can fight, you can fight. I work on developing skills. Punching power comes from technique and repetition, not always from size.
“I’m looking forward to a good fight. I have to stay composed. Morrison likes to come right out at you but I’m not planning to just let him come at me like he did his other opponents. I have something I plan to do that will give him something to think about.
“Fighting him is huge for me. His name means a lot. He’s the toughest guy I’ve fought. But I don’t think about my emotions and fighting in his hometown. We knew what we were getting into and there’s nothing we can do about it. There are things that are beyond your control.
“I’m still in school, majoring in physics, but I took a semester off. Then, this opportunity came along. No way I could do both right now. I enjoy how far I’ve come in boxing. I think the hard work is paying off.
“I’m confident I’ll win Friday. It’s going to be a great.’’
“I’ve been working mainly on my inside game and setting down on my punches lately. I know Stevenson is a good boxer, a slick guy who knows what do to. I have to try and stay patient, work the jab, work the body and put on pressure.
“In the amateurs it was more about points. Winning was OK with points but in the U.S. you need more than that.
“My mindset going into every fight is on going the distance. I’m looking forward to fighting Stevenson. Besides his boxing ability, he takes a good shot.
“This will be a real test for me, my toughest test. I’m a natural 160 but can make welterweight easily. It’s been a good camp for me.’’
“I think my opponent is probably taking me lightly. But he’s going to see a different me. I’m looking at this as a must-win, can-win fight. The birth of my daughter recently totally woke me up. It made me realize it was time to straighten up, stop running the streets and totally focus on my job. I have to take care of her. The added responsibility made me change my ways.
“So this training camp has been totally different than any I’ve had before. I’m really prepared. I didn’t come here to run, I’m coming to win. I’m certainly not here to be anyone’s opponent.
“It’s been crazy in my hometown. The whole city of Baltimore is behind me, and that is very exciting. Friday is the most important fight ever for me and I am looking forward to it.
“I’m confident I can be the first to defeat Golub.’’
GORDON HALL, Senior Vice President of Production, SHOWTIME Sports & Executive Producer, ShoBox: The New Generation
“Tomorrow night we have eight fighters with a total combined record of 114-3-1. We have undefeated fighters facing each other. We had 151 fighters fight on ShoBox, and lose that 0. Tomorrow night, on the second matchup of the night, we have two undefeated heavyweights. Trey Lippe Morrison’s father may have been Tommy, but we are not here because he’s Tommy’s son. We are here because we believe that Trey Lippe Morrison can fight and he’s taking a big step up in taking on Ed Latimore. It’s a big fight for both fighters and I credit them for taking the matchup.
“Ivan Golub had 300 amateur fights. He’s an accomplished fighter, we had him once before on ShoBox and he’s taking on James Stevenson, a veteran fighter, who’s not coming here to lose.
“Ivan Baranchyk, the adopted son of Buffalo Run Casino here in Miami. He’s one of the fighters you want to pay to see. He’s all action. His skill level is A-plus and Wang Zhimin knows that and he’s not afraid.
“The main event, Rod Kalajdzic vs. Travis Peterkin is the one to watch out for. Kalajdzic loss on his record against Marcus Browne is debatable to those who saw the fight. Travis Peterkin is undefeated, so for me this is a fight of two undefeated fighters in the light heavyweight division, which has Adonis Stevenson, Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev. It’s a hot division and looking for new blood and hopefully we’ll see it here tomorrow night.”
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Trey Lippe Morrison vs. Ed Latimore this Friday on ShoBox
As the son of popular former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison, Trey Lippe-Morrison’s name alone generates attention.
A quick glance at the Oklahoman’s record shows that all 11 of his victories came by knockout, 10 inside of two rounds. Those who dug deeper into Lippe-Morrison’s career will see that he’s trained by legendary Freddie Roach at Wildcard Boxing Club in Los Angeles, CA. On the contrary, his critics note that his name alone generated the buzz rather than his knockouts and many second generation boxers didn’t meet expectations.
On Friday evening at the Buffalo Run Casino, Lippe-Morrison looks to make his TV debut a successful one when he battles fellow unbeaten Ed “Black Magic” Latimore. The bout opens a quadrupleheader on Shobox: The New Generation and is scheduled for 6 rounds. Latimore, 13-0 (7 KO’s), owns amateur wins over former heavyweight champion Charles Martin and 2012 US Olympian Dominic Breazeale. The Pittsburgh, PA native will be Lippe-Morrison’s toughest test to date and he believes the heavy interest in this fight will only elevate his career when he emerges victorious.
“This is a difficult fight for Trey,” said Tony Holden, Lippe-Morrison’s promoter. “Latimore is undefeated and had a good amateur background. He and his team believe this fight will opens doors for him. The interest in this fight is extremely high not just because of whom Trey is but also since there are two unbeaten American heavyweight squaring off early in their careers. The winner is definitely worthy of being considered a top up and coming heavyweight.”
Lippe-Morrison is a member of Holden Productions’ “Four State Franchise” and fought 9 of his 11 fights at the Buffalo Run Casino, a venue he’s helped sell out multiple times. With the hometown advantage and flawless start to his pro career, Lippe-Morrison knows there will be pressure on him but believes he’s ready to handle it.
“There is a little bit of added pressure,” the 26-year-old said of fighting on TV. “There are of course the people that want to see me on the same level at my father but some of it is brought on by me. My team and I believe I’m ready for this. I’ve been getting a lot better and learning every day under Freddie Roach. Freddie says I’m prepared for the step up and he has full confidence in me. Now I’ve got to go out and perform.”
The quadrupleheader airs live on Showtime at 10 PM ET and also features Ivan “The Volk” Golub against James “Keep em’ Sleepin” Stevenson, Ivan “The Beast” Branchyk vs Zhimin Wang and Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic taking on “Notorious” Travis Peterkin.
Tickets are sold out and this excellent evening of boxing is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions in association with Fight Promotions Inc. and Roc Nation Sports.
Trey Lippe Morrison is 11-0 with 11 knockouts. He is the son of the late former world heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison. A Grove, Okla., native, Trey resides in Hollywood, Calif., and is trained by Freddie Roach at Wild Card Gym.
This Friday, Sept. 23, Morrison makes his eagerly awaited television debut when he faces fellow unbeaten and Roc Nation prospect Ed Latimore (13-0, 7 KOs), of Pittsburgh, Pa., in the second bout of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
Morrison, who turns 27 on Sept. 27, has recorded eight first-round knockouts, two second-round knockouts and one fourth-round KO in a career that began in February 2014. He bears a striking resemblance to his late father facially, physique-wise and with his fighting style, wears red, white and blue trunks with “TOMMY” written across the belt. He has fought all but one of his fights in Oklahoma; this is his 10th start at Buffalo Run.
A popular member of Holden’s Four State Franchise stable, the 6-foot-2 Morrison is fighting for the first time since he underwent surgery on his right tendon from an injury suffered in his most recent bout, a fourth-round TKO over Thomas Hawkins last Jan. 23.
Below is what Morrison and Roach said about Trey’s fight against Latimore Friday, his up-and-coming career, life outside the ring, remembrances of his father, working with Freddie and more:
“I’m going to approach this fight against Latimore just the same way I approached my first 11 fights,’’ said Morrison ahead of the scheduled six-round bout. “I’ve gained a lot of confidence and a lot of new skills, and I’m just honored to be able to showcase them. Being on SHOWTIME is just a huge bonus.”
Morrison’s thoughts on Ed Latimore …
“I’ve watched a little bit of video. He’s really similar to me. The way he bobs his head all the time and is a real aggressive fighter and always comes forward. It’s almost like I’m fighting a clone of myself. He kind of has that Mike Tyson style, and that’s what I expect to see. If he doesn’t come at me that way, then I’ll have to have a game plan for something else.”
Is Latimore your toughest fight to date? …
“Oh, yeah. Sure. 100 percent. His record says it all [13-0, 7 KOs]. He’s athletic. From just what I’ve seen of his past fights, he would be the toughest guy I’ve fought so far.”
On the injury suffered in his last fight …
“I feel like it is 100 percent healed. It was kind of a freak accident. I threw an uppercut and it hit him in the hard part of his head. Since I’ve been able to put my glove on it, it hasn’t been a problem.”
What are the keys to this fight? …
“I think you always find the keys within the first couple rounds of the fight. That’s when you figure someone out. I figure I’m just going to be patient, and wait for my shot and when it comes, take it.”
Tommy was known as a left-hooker, you’re known for a strong right hand? Did you work more on your left when you were sidelined? …
“Oh, yes. Tremendously. I would say me being hurt was a blessing. I think it helped me more than it hurt me. I was really able to develop and sharpen my left hand. So right now I feel like my left hand is just as lethal as my right. I’m confident I can now do everything with my left that I can with my right. I was more of a right-handed fighter before because my left hand wasn’t as developed yet. My timing and my speed wasn’t quite there with my left before, but now I’m good with both.”
On working with Freddie Roach…
“I’ve been working with Freddie for about a year now. I’m living in West Hollywood; right smack dab in the middle of all the craziness. But I stay away from all of it. I’m more of a hermit. If I’m not training, I’m at home. I really don’t go out much. I really just like being alone at times and being at my place. I don’t have many hobbies. I would say I’m a nerd. I like to play video games with my friends online.”
How did you end up with Freddie?
“I originally moved out here to train with Jesse Reid. He decided he wanted to make a move to Las Vegas, and that just wasn’t a move my promoter, Tony Holden, and I were going to make. Since I was already here, Tony had a lunch with Freddie who agreed to look at me. So I had a private session with him and after that he said he’d be willing to work with me.”
How much have you learned under Freddie’s watchful eye? …
“I’ve learned so much — probably everything. And anything I was good at before, he’s sharpened it. I’d probably give him full credit for everything. The guys I’ve sparred with have also taught me a lot. It’s really helped me in every way possible.”
Did you play sports in high school? …
“I played football, basketball and track. I played tight end and defensive end in football and I ran the hurdles and threw the shot and disc. I played four years of college football at the University of Central Arkansas. I played defensive end there. I had a couple of pro teams looking at me, but I screwed up my senior year and ended getting kicked off the team. I made some bad decisions, just being a dumb college kid, and that led to it. When boxing came up, it was like a second chance for me.
“I wasn’t ready for my athletic career to be over. Football ended for me because I made bad decisions. I needed to be told that I wasn’t good enough for me to move on and go out and get a regular job. Around the same time that happened, my dad passed away. My mom told me that Tony Holden had a casino in the next town from where I went to high school. I had never met him before but we went out and had a great time talking about my dad. So I popped the question to him and asked if he’d help me get into boxing. He said absolutely not. I told him I was going to give it a shot because I wasn’t able to give up athletics. He called me back three days later.”
Do you feel pressure being the son of Tommy Morrison? …
“Yeah. I think there’s a lot of pressure on me to do well, and I think that really weighed on me the first couple of fights. That’s always going to be there. No matter who I fight, or how good I do, they are always going to compare me to my dad. I just have to deal with it. There definitely is pressure, but I can deal with it better now.
“When I first started, people were comparing my first fight ever with how my dad ended his career…to his best fight. So obviously I wasn’t going to match up that way. I knew that I’d get better and that one day I’d get there.”
How would you describe your relationship with your father? …
“I’d say our relationship was awesome. We were great friends. You know, our time got cut short, and we didn’t get to spend a lot of time together. But the time we did have was amazing. And we really cherished it.”
Would you think your dad would be proud of you today, following in his footsteps?
“I think he would be proud of me. I wish he was here because the things he would say would help me a lot. I really do think he’d be proud.”
How much has your promoter Tony Holden meant to you?
“I wouldn’t be where I’m at without him. I can’t even put it into words. Honestly, if I would have started boxing without him, no one would know who I was. Everything I have in boxing, is because of him. I met him in October of 2013, two or three months before I got into boxing.”
Freddie Roach, a seven-time Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year and 2012 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, will be in Morrison’s corner Friday in Miami. He said Trey is dedicated, a joy to work with and has continued to improve. But he remains a work in progress.
“Trey’s a very nice person, a simple guy, real polite like most boxers.’’.
“He inherited his father’s punch. He’s a big puncher. He’s learned how to box and is getting better every day. He tries hard. I like the way he’s progressing. He holds his own with some of the veteran guys here at the gym and is doing very well.
“Once he learns to box a little more, he’s going to make a lot more noise in the division. My thoughts on the heavyweights right now is that it is not all that strong of a division. [Anthony] Joshua may be the best, and there are a couple other big names. But I think the division is mostly wide open for guys who have heart and balls and are ready to take it the distance. Trey’s that kind of kid.’’
It was Roach who wanted this fight. “His manager asked me if he was ready and I said he was 100 percent ready. Latimore is his toughest fight, but it’s time to step up.’’
In Friday’s ShoBox main event, once-beaten Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KOs), of St. Petersburg, Fla. will try and resume his winning ways when he meets undefeated Travis Peterkin (16-0-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y. in a 10-round light heavyweight scrap. In the co-feature, super lightweight livewire Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (11-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., takes on Roc Nation’s Wang Zhimin (7-0, 3 KOs, 7-1 WSB), of Nutley, N.J. by way of Ningbo, China, in a 10-rounder. In a scheduled eight-round bout, Ukrainian welterweight Ivan “The Volk” Golub (12-0, 10 KOs, 5-0 WSB), of Brooklyn, N.Y. faces James “Keep’em Sleepin” Stevenson (23-2, 16 KOs), of Baltimore, Md.
The combined record of the eight boxers on the televised card is 114-3-1 with 78 knockouts.
Tickets for the event promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Tony Holden Productions in association with Roc Nation Sports are priced at $35, $55 and $75 and are available at buffalorun.com and at stubwire.com.
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.