David Morrell Jr: Response to Autism Message Better than First-Round Knockout Win

David Morrell Jr says that the reaction to his message about autism awareness means even more to him than his first-round knockout of Yamaguchi Falcao in Las Vegas on April 22.

The robe and trunks that super middleweight Morrell (9-0, 8 KOs) wore for his fight with Falcao carried the word “Autism” and the puzzle piece pattern developed by the American Autism Society to signify the complexity of the autism spectrum. Morrell told ProBox TV that he wanted to use the occasion – fighting in the co-main event of the PPV blockbuster between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia – to highlight that the syndrome “can be hard. Not just for kids, but for anyone who has it, and for the families.” It is a cause dear to the fighter’s heart as the children of several friends have the condition.

“Afterward, I see all these messages: ‘Thank you, David.’ I tell you, right now, I feel good about my fight but I feel great about my message.”

Morrell confessed that he experienced a brief moment of hesitation when he first hurt Falcao, as his previous opponent Aidos Yerbossyluny collapsed following their fight and spent two weeks in the hospital. But, once he told himself, “No, OK, keep going,” he was able to press the throttle and finish off the Brazilian former Olympian inside the first three minutes.

With the win, Morrell hopes to have positioned himself for a fight with fellow unbeaten David Benavidez, although Benavidez is trying to secure a date with Canelo Alvarez. Morrell does not know exactly how long he can afford to wait for the opportunity to take on the Arizonan but is keen to be back in the ring by the fall.

“I want to fight in September,” he said. “I have right now two weeks for rest and vacation, and then I’ll come back training. I think this year me and Benavidez will fight. But I don’t know exactly when.

“Benavidez has power, he’s a great boxer. He’s fast too. But I’ve got power, too. I tell everybody: I got everything. I have movement, defense, power. But I think a fight between me and Benavidez is 50-50. I respect him. My friends sent me a link to an interview [where he says] he respects me, too. I think me and him is the best fight to be made at 168 pounds.”