Morrell throws the last punches on a Showtime broadcast, winning in 2 rounds

Entering Saturday night's super middleweight matchup with heavy-hitting David MorrellSena Agbeko could at least find a scintilla of hope in the fact that he had never been down in 30 fights as a professional.

After 31 fights, he can make the same claim, but he still suffered the same fate as almost everyone who has stepped into the ring with the Cuban exile, as he succumbed to an early stoppage loss in the final fight ever broadcast on Showtime. 

Morrell (10-0, 9 KOs) showed his clear advantages in speed and power in the first round, looking relaxed and composed as he stalked Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs) around the ring, backing him repeatedly to the ropes and then slipping away from Agbeko’s attempts to respond.

In the second, a fierce uppercut snapped back Agbeko’s head, and as the Ghanaian backed into a corner, Morrell landed Shbrutal right hook that clearly left its mark. A left hand and another hook followed, and with Agbeko helpless in the corner, referee Mark Nelson stepped in to halt the contest at 1:43 of the second round.

Valenzuela drops Colbert onto the bottom rope

When lightweight Jose Valenzuela faced Chris Colbert in March, he dropped the American in the first round, only to see Colbert take charge in the second and then battle him the rest of the way en route to a close and controversial decision win.

The rematch began much the same way, Valenzuela assaulting Colbert in the opening round and dropping him in the corner. Colbert (17-2, 6 KOs) looked as if he might be in danger of an early night, but then, as in the first fight, he survived the opening stanza and then used his fast, accurate punches to take the second.

In the third and fourth, the volume and accuracy of Colbert’s punches were in the ascendant for two-thirds of each round, only for Valenzuela to respond with power punches that saw the Mexican take both frames. 

The fourth and fifth saw Valenzuela take over, using foot movement and angles to attack Colbert to body and head, frequently pinning him to the ropes and forcing him to cover up.

Then, in the sixth, came the conclusive and concussive ending. Valenzuela (13-2, 9KOs) backed Colbert to the ropes, threw a southpaw straight left that Colbert blocked and then launched a follow-up right hook that spun Colbert around and dropped him face down over the bottom rope, prompting referee Joel Scobie to halt the contest without a count at 1:46 of the sixth.

Berto and Guerrero provide Showtime nostalgia

Eleven years after outpointing Andre Berto, Robert Guerrero repeated the achievement in the broadcast opener over 10 rounds at a contract weight of 149 pounds.

In a broadcast that was focused on looking back on 37 years of Showtime boxing history, the contest was a true throwback: Guerrero (38-6-1, 20 KOs), a former titlist at 126 and 130 pounds, was returning to the ring after two and a half years of inactivity; Berto, also 40, had not boxed since 2018. Predictably, the fight operated at half-speed, both men showing flashes of their technique and experience but struggling to retrieve the muscle memories that had once propelled them to such success.

After a slow start by both men, Guerrero found his timing and range in the third, and began catching Berto (32-6, 24 KOs) with southpaw left hands. He sent Berto to the canvas on three separate occasions but each time referee Robert Hoyle adjudged that Berto had been pushed or had slipped. With momentum slipping inexorably away from him, Berto finally began to find success in the sixth and seventh, although the fight remained understandably scrappy, with Hoyle frequently warning both men about rabbit punches and wrestling.

Berto was doubled over by an accidental low blow in round 8, but Berto regained the initiative thereafter, backing Guerrero to the ropes, only to walk into a counter right hook at
round’s end. 

Both men did their best to lay it all on the line over the final two rounds, but inevitably neither the speed nor the timing was what it used to be. With seconds remaining in the contest, Berto landed another rabbit punch, but Hoyle preferred once more to issue a warning rather than issue any points deductions. 

Nonetheless, for two largely inactive middle-aged men, it was a genuinely sterling effort, and the warm embrace in which they wrapped each other was testament to their sense of accomplishment. 

Afterward, Guerrero suggested he might keep boxing in the hope of seeing if he could once again reach world title level. In an era and a division that features the likes of Terence Crawford and Boots Ennis, that is profoundly unlikely to happen; but his desire to continue speaks to the inherent competitiveness of boxers.

It’s a competitiveness that Showtime captured and conveyed since Guerrero and Berto were three years old; but if Guerrero is indeed to prolong his career, it will have to be on another platform.

His career may continue; but Showtime’s race is run.